State v. Michael Allan Halgren
Guilty Plea in 1980 Cold Case Homicide: Convicted sex offender Michael Allan Halgren pled guilty this morning to a charge of Murder in the Second Degree for the murder of a 19-year-old woman in Bellevue 34 years ago. DNA evidence linked the defendant to the murder of Susan Barbara Lowe, who was found strangled in her apartment in 1980. Halgren, who has been in custody since 2002 after being civilly committed as a sexually violent predator, was charged in 2013 with Lowe’s murder and transferred to the King County Jail from the Special Commitment Center on McNeil Island. Halgren, 58, faces a minimum sentence of 17 years up to a maximum of life in prison. Although a crime from 1980 falls under the state’s prior indeterminate sentencing system, the state’s Indeterminate Sentence Review Board has the option of keeping Halgren incarcerated up to life. If the defendant is ever granted parole, he would be returned to the Special Commitment Center. “There is a special satisfaction when we can solve a murder more than three decades old using modern forensic science,” said Dan Satterberg, King County Prosecuting Attorney. “It is due to the dedication of the Bellevue Police Department, the Crime Lab and our Cold Case Project that this man, who thought he had gotten away with murder, will now spend up to the rest of his life in prison,” he added. Halgren will be sentenced next month. The case was handled by Senior DPA Kristin Richardson and investigated by Detective Jerry Johnson of the Bellevue Police Department.