A 64-year-old Grapevine man accused of leaving baby dolls with nooses around their necks at the apartment of a black family pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge in the case.
Glenn Eugene Halfin entered his plea on the charge of interfering with a black family’s housing rights. He had denied any involvement to Grapevine detectives.
He faces a maximum of one year in federal prison and a $100,000 fine. His sentencing is pending.
Halfin threatened force, intimidated and interfered with the family because of their race and occupancy of an apartment directly above his, according to federal court documents.
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“No one should be afraid to go home at night,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox of the Northern District of Texas said Thursday in a news release. “Our community will not tolerate crimes of intimidation or bigotry, and my office will continue to prosecute all those who persecute others based on their race, color, ethnicity, or religious beliefs.”
Halfin was arrested in December 2017 on the state charge of stalking and released after posting $10,000 bail.
The state charge stemmed from incidents against the black family from Oct. 4, 2017, to Dec. 19, 2017, at the Colonial Village Apartments. The family told police of damage to their vehicles, a noose thrown onto their balcony and two incidents in which dolls were left with ropes around the necks depicting being hanged.
Police began day and night surveillance of the victims’ apartment and vehicles.
Detective Joseph Moeller tracked down a doll at a Walmart that was similar to those found at the Colonial Village apartment and viewed several hours of video from inside the store before identifying the family’s neighbor, Halfin.
Officials at the apartment leasing office had reported that Halfin had a history of making “inappropriate racially insensitive comments.”
Before October 2017, the victim told police there had been several incidents such as his vehicles being egged and feces being thrown into his vehicles that he did not report, according to the arrest warrant in the state case.
The victim made his first report to police on Oct. 4, 2017, when someone threw a noose on his apartment balcony.
Another report was made on Nov. 1, 2017, after the victim’s common-law wife found a children’s baby doll underneath her car with a noose tied around its neck.
“The victim explained he interpreted the placement of the doll and the appearance of the doll as a clear threat to his infant daughter,” Moeller wrote in the warrant.
On Dec. 19, 2017, the victim reported his wife had found another doll with a noose tied around its neck. This one was tied to a railing near a stairway.
After the state charge was filed, the federal charge based on much of the Grapevine police investigation was filed in June.