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Sunday, April 20, 2014

Testimony in Kiska murder getting into details

Testimony continues in the trial of Tyrice Halliburton, accused of the murder of Sheena Kiska in March, 2008.
Justin Leighty
Posted on April 17, 2012 at 1:00 a.m. | Updated on April 17, 2012 at 7:09 p.m.

GOSHEN — Jurors moved from the human impact of the discovery of Sheena Kiska’s death this morning, April 17, to the details of what surrounded her body.

From photos of her body on the floor of her Bristol apartment to the blood-stained clothes Kiska was wearing, from a bloody ring to the knives found in the apartment, jurors got some of the nuts and bolts of the evidence police collected. By 3 p.m. they’d viewed more than 60 exhibits, with more yet to come.

By the middle of the afternoon jurors heard testimony from one neighbor and two police officers. They haven’t yet heard, though, any links between Kiska’s death and the man on trial for her March 18, 2008 murder.

Tyrice Halliburton faces anywhere from 45 years to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Prosecutors believe Halliburton broke into Kiska’s apartment to steal items and she walked in, caught him red-handed and he stabbed her to death in a struggle.

According to Bristol Chief Deputy Mile Albin, there was no sign the apartment’s front door had been forced open.

However, there were red stains on the balcony out the back of the second-floor apartment — a balcony next to Halliburton’s, Albin testified this afternoon.

Halliburton spoke to police after the slaying, saying he was at the veterinarian’s office that afternoon, Albin said.

Albin then detailed some of the evidence collected during Kiska’s autopsy.

A forensic pathologist waited to testify about the cause of Kiska’s death as of 3 p.m.

Her fiancé, Jacob Callihan, is scheduled to testify.

The jury will also visit the apartment out of which Kiska and Callihan were moving, one in what was then known as River Shore Apartments.

Wednesday jurors are scheduled to hear from Halliburton’s then-girlfriend as well as former inmates of the Elkhart County Jail who, Albin said, reported Halliburton confessed to killing Kiska.

Albin also talked about returning to the apartment March 20 and being unable to get in. Halliburton stepped out and offered officers a tool, then showed them a trick to break in through the lock, allowing the officers to get in.

Albin described a puncture wound on Halliburton’s palm, one Halliburton said was caused by a cat.

Chief Deputy Prosecutor Vicki Becker began to question Albin about the discovery of the DVD player stolen from Kiska’s apartment a month before her death, but Halliburton’s attorney, Cliff Williams, objected.

Halliburton pleaded guilty to possessing that stolen property, and Williams voiced concern that if jurors learn of that, it might color their opinions in this case.

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