Suspended Vegas judge hospitalized

LAS VEGAS " A suspended Nevada state judge was hospitalized and her husband was jailed on suspicion of attempted murder and domestic violence after he was accused of hitting her in the head with a frying pan at their home in Las Vegas, authorities said today.

Elizabeth Halverson was injured and her husband, Edward Halverson, 49, was arrested after police were called to their southeast Las Vegas area home late Thursday, according to police and Clark County jail records.

"He hit her with a frying pan," said Officer Jose Montoya, a Las Vegas police spokesman.

Halverson told 911 dispatchers her husband was "going to beat her to death," according to a police statement that said officers found her in a rear bedroom with severe face, chest and upper arm injuries.

"She stated to the officers that her husband, Ed, had beat her up and had tried to kill her," the statement said.

Montoya said he had no immediate information about Halverson's medical condition. A spokesman at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center said he could release no information about Halverson's injury or her condition.

Edward Halverson was being held Friday pending an initial appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court on felony charges of attempted murder, battery with a deadly weapon and battery with substantial bodily harm, jail records show. It was not immediately clear if Edward Halverson had a lawyer.

Elizabeth Halverson's troubles have been widely reported since she was suspended from the bench in July 2007 after she was accused of mishandling trials, mistreating staff and falling asleep on the bench. She blamed vindictive colleagues and disgruntled employees for the complaints.

Halverson is obese and uses bottled oxygen and a motorized scooter instead of walking. She has said she survived cancer and deals with a range of physical ailments including congestive heart failure, Crohn's disease and diabetes that she said causes hypoglycemic attacks.

She recently lost a primary bid for re-election, and has been awaiting a decision from the Nevada Commission on Judicial Discipline, which took five days of testimony last month in preparation for a decision whether to sanction her or permanently bar her from the bench.

Halverson submitted to the commission a report from a therapist who diagnosed her with an adjustment disorder, anxiety and depression. She also produced a letter from a physician who said she has arthritis in her feet and knees, and needs the oxygen to counteract the effects of sleep apnea.

Her Michigan-based lawyer in those hearings, Michael Schwartz, said Friday he had no information about Halverson's injury or her husband's arrest. He said written closing arguments in the disciplinary case were due to the commission Sept. 18.

The hearings included several references to Halverson's relationship with her husband, including testimony from Halverson's former court bailiff, Johnnie Jordan, that he heard Halverson scream and swear at Edward Halverson and at court employees.

Jordan also testified that Halverson once asked him to shoot her husband and told him she would dispose of his body. Jordan said he believed Halverson was serious, but admitted he never reported the exchange to police.

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