The man drilled a hole in her bedroom wall and inserted a tiny camera to record what was going on inside, according to King County prosecutors.
A 33-year-old Renton man is accused of attempting to spy on his estranged wife by drilling a hole in her bedroom wall and inserting a tiny camera to record what was going on inside, according to King County prosecutors.
Michael James Halvorson, who was originally arrested Dec. 28 for violating a protection order, was charged earlier this month with residential burglary domestic violence, according to court records. He was transferred Wednesday from the South Correctional Entity (SCORE) jail in Des Moines to the Norm Maleng Regional Justice Center in Kent, where he is now being held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
Halvorson and his wife of nine years separated in the spring and are in the middle of a divorce, according to charging papers. But they shared a duplex — he lived in one unit with his father, and she lived on the other side with her children and Halvorson’s sister, the papers say. A wall separated Halvorson’s bedroom from his wife’s.
Halvorson’s estranged wife was granted a domestic-violence protection order Dec. 23.
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Four days later, Halvorson used a key he had secretly copied to get inside his wife’s unit and confronted her in her bedroom at 2:30 a.m., “demanding to know if there was another male with her or if she was seeing someone else,” charging papers say.
He gave his sister the copied key and left.
Then at 4 a.m., his wife was “woken up again by the sound of something drilling through her bedroom wall” and went to get her sister-in-law, the papers say. The women saw a “snakelike camera” equipped with a flashlight come through the wall, extending about 6 inches into the room, the papers say.
They called 911 and officers later found a home-inspection camera with a flashlight in Halvorson’s bedroom, but were unable to locate Halvorson, charging papers say.
Crumbled drywall was found on both sides of the hole, papers say.
The following day, Dec. 28, Halvorson banged on his wife’s door and was allowed in by his sister, the papers say. He stormed past her and again confronted his wife, demanding to know if “she was cheating on him,” according to charging papers.
He allegedly claimed he had a recording of his wife with another man, the papers say. His sister called 911 and Halvorson was arrested by Renton police, the papers say.
“There is a history of verbal and physical abuse against this victim,” charging papers say. Since his separation from his wife, “the defendant has been violating the protection order without being reported and has engaged in escalating and stalking-type behavior,” the papers say.
Penny Bartley, SCORE jail director, said Halvorson was arrested in August for fourth-degree assault domestic violence and was released on that charge on Dec. 4, but was rearrested on Dec. 28 and sent to SCORE. He was convicted in 2008 of fourth-degree assault-domestic violence for an assault on his wife, the papers say.
Sara Jean Green: 206-515-5654 or firstname.lastname@example.org