Thursday, 26 March 2020 09:50

Teacher Denied Parole in Attempted Murder of Wife

March 25, 2020 – A former Collierville High School teacher sentenced to 21 years in prison five years ago for beating his wife nearly to death in their Germantown home has been denied parole for a second time, said Shelby County Dist. Atty. Gen. Amy Weirich.
Michael Halliburton, 60, was convicted in 2015 of attempted first-degree murder for attacking his wife with a knife-sharpening instrument on Sept. 6, 2012, as their 15-year-old daughter tried to make him stop. He also was convicted of two counts of aggravated assault and one count of domestic violence assault.
Despite serving just a fraction of his sentence, Halliburton was declared eligible for a parole hearing in 2017 under the state’s Safety Valve provision enacted to reduce prison crowding. His second parole hearing was held earlier this month after the Tennessee Department of Correction determined he was parole eligible.
Four members of the seven-member Tennessee Board of Parole voted to decline parole for Halliburton, and scheduled a new hearing in March of 2022. His sentence is set to expire no later than Feb. 20, 2034.
Halliburton is in custody at the Trousdale Turner Correctional Center in Hartsville, about 50 miles east of Nashville.
“To consider parole for a violent offender like this, especially in a case involving such a brutal domestic violence attack, diminishes the seriousness the crime,” said Dist. Atty. Weirich. “When jurors convicted him and the judge sentenced him to 21 years in prison, the victims, as well as the citizens of Tennessee, should be able to expect a violent offender such as this to serve 21 years. He’s never shown a shred of remorse, instead blaming the victim, his lawyers and everyone but himself for his problems.”
The victim in the case, Virginia Halliburton, died in 2016 of a heart attack.
The case was prosecuted by Asst. Dist. Attys. Karen Cook and Sam Winnig. Cook is the former chief prosecutor of the DA’s Domestic Violence Prosecution Unit (DVPU) and Winnig is a former member of the unit. The DVPU prosecutes felony cases of domestic assault and homicide committed by intimate partners. The Unit also works closely with the Shelby County Family Safety Center to provide services and assistance to victims and their families.
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