A Grapevine man who left baby dolls with nooses around their necks at the apartment of a black family was sentenced Wednesday to a year in federal prison.
Glenn Eugene Halfin, 64, stood before U.S. Judge Reed O’Connor and cried as he apologized for his actions.
“I’m sorry,” Halfin said as members of his family sat in the courtroom before he was sentenced on the federal charge of interfering with a black family’s housing rights.
Halfin must report to prison on Nov. 16.
Halfin’s attorney, Brook Antonio of Fort Worth, had asked the judge for probation, noting he had been a firefighter, arson investigator and emergency medical technician. Antonio did not say where Halfin had been a firefighter, but online records indicated he was a firefighter at The Woodlands near Houston.
“He’s not a racist,” Antonio said in remarks to the judge before sentencing. Antonio is black.
Antonio said the incident was a neighbor against neighbor dispute. Halfin, who was kicked out of his Grapevine apartment after his arrest in December 2017, was the downstairs neighbor of the black family, which included an infant daughter.
“He had tried talking to them. They would stomp down the floor.” Antonio said. “He got angry, frustrated, and he didn’t handle it well.”
Antonio and Halfin declined to comment after the sentencing Wednesday morning.
The incidents occurred from Oct. 4, 2017, to Dec. 19, 2017, at the Colonial Village at Grapevine, 2300 Grayson Drive.
Initially, Halfin had denied his involvement in the hate crime, but he pleaded guilty in July to the federal charge.
Court documents said Halfin threatened force, intimidated and interfered with the family because of their race.
The family told Grapevine police of damage to their vehicles, which included feces being thrown inside and the vehicles being egged.
In addition, the family reported a noose thrown onto their balcony and two incidents in which dolls were left with ropes around their necks.
Authorities said in one instance, Halfin took a rope, fashioned it into a noose, and hung the baby doll from the noose. He then hung the rope and baby doll on the railing “directly in front of the only staircase the family could use to access their apartment.”
Grapevine police began day-and-night surveillance of the victims’ apartment and vehicles.
Halfin was arrested in December 2017 on a state charge of stalking and he was released after posting $10,000 bail. After the state charge was filed, the federal charge based on much of the Grapevine police investigation was filed in June.
As of Wednesday, Tarrant County criminal court records show the state stalking charge is still pending.
“We don’t have any comment at this point,” Sam Jordan, a spokeswoman for the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, said in an email.