Halford found guilty in 2012 murder case
GREENSBURG - On August 2, 2017, a St. Helena Parish jury found 37-year-old Michael Lynn Halford of Greensburg, LA, guilty of first degree murder of 75-year-old John Nelson Hornsby.
On August 7, 2012, St. Helena Parish Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an address on Rohner Road regarding a death. Upon arrival, a female advised that she was delivering the mail when she came across a burned residence and noticed someone laying on the ground in the front yard.
The victim was charred from heat of the house fire and had 10 total abrasions on his head and face. There was also grass and dirt on the victim’s back which appeared to have come from the victim’s truck which was behind him with the tire tracks that appeared to have run over him and a maul was lying beside the victim’s body.
Louisiana State Police Crime Lab was contacted for assistance in the investigation and collection of evidence and a crime scene log was started. .
During the trial, members of the jury saw photos of the crime scene and evidence collected during the course of the investigation of Hornby’s death. During the investigation, it was discovered that Hornsby owned several guns and assorted jewelry including a Rolex watch that would’ve been inside of the residence.
After shifting through ashes of the burned residence, there were no signs of guns or jewelry found inside or near the residence. Investigators concluded that these items were taken from the residence before the fire was set to cover up the burglary of the residence where Hornsby was murdered.
On September 12, 2012, SHSO was contacted by Louisiana State Police Crime Lab in reference to a DNA profile obtained from the fingernails of the victim. Michael Lynn Halford’s DNA was found. Louisiana State Police Crime Lab requested a swab from Halford. The DNA swab from Halford matched the DNA profile found from under the nails of Hornsby. A warrant was issued for Micheal Halford for First Degree Murder based on forensic evidence.
On May 9, 2013 detectives received a call from a female who made a contact visit to Halford while incarcerated. She wanted to discuss information pertaining to the homicide case of Hornsby.
The female went on to tell detectives that during the visit that Halford admitted to killing Hornsby and had hidden the guns and bloody clothes behind his mother’s residence. After receiving this information consent to search property form was signed by the property owner.
The female advised detectives to look for a bag wrapped in plastic under the shed and that the guns were located in the woods.
When the property was searched the following items were located:
Six guns, a medicine bottle with the victim’s name on it, a green bag with an identification tag with the victim’s name, a clear plastic bag under the shed contained a pistol, Rolex watch, change, bullets, and pieces of jewelry.
All property recovered was logged into evidence.
Assistant District Attorney Richard McShan represented the state; Judge Jeffery Johnson presiding.
Formal sentencing for Michael Halford is scheduled for December 1, 2017. Article submitted from District Attorney Scott Perrilloux.