Videos show custody fight for teen later charged in father’s death

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A justice presiding implicit a lengthy custody conflict for 16-year-old Sierra Halseth foresaw occupation months earlier she and her fellow were charged with fatally stabbing her father, tribunal videos obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal show.

“This full lawsuit discourages me,” Family Court Judge Charles Hoskin said successful aboriginal March, astir a period earlier the assemblage of Daniel Halseth was recovered stabbed and burned successful the store of his northwest Las Vegas home. “It is imaginable that aft taking grounds I conscionable rip the kid retired of dad’s location and enactment the kid solely successful mom’s home.”

Sierra’s mother, who present goes by the sanction Elizabeth Helgelien, had been granted superior custody aft Daniel Halseth filed for divorcement successful 2011, but the girl’s parents started to quality custody arrangements past year, tribunal records show.

Halseth’s body, stabbed 70 times, was recovered April 9. His assemblage had been stuffed successful a sleeping container earlier it was acceptable connected fire, resulting successful burns to astir 40 percent of his body, an autopsy study stated.

His girl and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Aaron Guerrero, have been indicted connected charges of murder, conspiracy, arson, robbery and fraudulent usage of a recognition paper successful transportation with his death.

The girl’s attorney, Michael Sanft, said the acrimonious custody quality could assistance shed airy connected what happened.

“There’s much to the communicative than what we’ve heard truthful acold and what’s been released successful the media,” Sanft said. “It’s a process, and this process takes time. And astatine immoderate constituent successful the future, determination volition beryllium a implicit representation for everyone to recognize arsenic to what happened and wherefore this happened. We inquire for everyone to reserve judgement until they spot the implicit picture.”

‘I privation my girl back’

At the March proceeding successful beforehand of Hoskin, Helgelien said she had not seen her girl successful months.

“Daniel and his location isn’t a steadfast one,” she told the judge. “He has intelligibly been bashing maine and speaking negatively astir maine and lying to Sierra, which has negatively impacted my narration with her. … I privation my girl back. I privation her to beryllium steadfast again, and emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically steadfast again. I privation what’s champion for her, and she deserves that.”

Halseth past implied that his ex-wife was lying.

“It feels similar world TV each clip I perceive Elizabeth talk …” helium said. “I person nary thought wherefore she’s saying the things that she’s saying.”

The bid of videos obtained by the paper seizure tribunal hearings that day backmost to August, erstwhile Halseth was ordered to instrumentality Sierra to her mother’s custody aft Hoskin recovered that helium was successful usurpation of their agreement.

But by the clip the parents attended a virtual proceeding the adjacent month, Sierra was already backmost with her father.

Halseth wanted superior carnal custody, telling the justice that Sierra was successful a “toxic environment” astatine her mother’s home.

He told the justice that Sierra was staying with him successful his four-bedroom home, and “the surviving arrangements are cleanable here.”

Halseth filed a question to change the custody statement and “to code CPS intervention.” A spokeswoman with Child Protective Services has declined to merchandise immoderate imaginable records related to Sierra to the Review-Journal, citing confidentiality.

Helgelien called her ex-husband’s allegations “made up” and suggested that Halseth did not marque a sincere effort to instrumentality Sierra to her.

“He tin accidental helium returned her, but it was an evident program for her to instrumentality to him successful a mates of hours,” Helgelien said. “And helium virtually conscionable dropped her disconnected conscionable to say, ‘Your honor, I followed the tribunal orders to driblet her off.’”

The justice said helium was troubled by an evident deficiency of connection betwixt Sierra and her mother, and helium wanted the miss to beryllium interviewed done what’s known arsenic Family Court mediation.

Attorney Louis Schneider, who focuses connected household and transgression instrumentality but was not progressive successful the custody dispute, said matrimony and household therapists tin assistance cultivate caller relationships betwixt children and their parents. Therapist reports successful specified cases are typically sealed.

In Nevada, Family Court judges typically similar associated carnal custody successful bid to let children adjacent clip with each parent, Schneider said.

‘We request to get therapy successful place’

At an October hearing, the justice pushed for reunification therapy successful an effort to facilitate associated custody.

“I saw a batch of things with Sierra that caused maine concern,” Hoskin said. “It indicates to maine that thing other is going connected with Sierra. … And I don’t cognize who astatine this constituent is to blasted for that. But I’m little acrophobic astir placing blasted than I americium with respect to this kid and the child’s narration with a parent.”

The parents quarreled implicit whether Sierra had received due counseling.

“We request to get therapy successful spot astatine this constituent moving forward,” the justice said. “I haven’t gotten to the bottommost of what is oregon isn’t happening with Sierra, but I americium highly acrophobic with what is oregon is not happening with Sierra. … Hopefully this is not thing 1 of the 2 of you are promoting, due to the fact that the beingness harm to this kid is thing you’ll person to carnivore connected your conscience moving forward.”

Before a proceeding successful December, Halseth filed a missive to the justice that helium said was written by Sierra.

The justice rapidly admonished Halseth.

“It’s wholly inappropriate to impact a kid to this level,” Hoskin said. “I would deliberation arsenic agelong arsenic we’ve been litigating this lawsuit you would beryllium alert of the inappropriate quality of having a kid beryllium this progressive successful the litigation.”

Helgelien questioned whether her girl had really written the letter, which was not made public.

“This behaviour is perfectly not Sierra,” she said, “not the narration I’ve had with her.”

Contact David Ferrara astatine oregon 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker connected Twitter.

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