Halladey pleads not guilty to first degree murder charge

A former Reinbeck man who has been charged with first degree murder in the death of Christian Marie Jeys filed a written plea of not guilty in Grundy County District Court last Tuesday, Jan. 17.

According to court documents, Kevin Lee Halladey, age 41, and his attorney, public defender Aaron Hawbaker, filed the plea and demanded a speedy trial pursuant to Rule 27.2(b) of the Iowa Rules of Criminal Procedure. A request for expanded media coverage was also approved, and a jury trial has been tentatively set for Feb. 15 at 9 a.m. with a pretrial conference to be held on Feb. 6 at 1 p.m. On Wednesday, Judge Joel Dalrymple was assigned to oversee all future proceedings associated with the case.

As previously reported in the T-R, the situation that ultimately resulted in Jeys’ death began just after midnight on Dec. 16, 2021, when Grundy County deputies were dispatched to Jeys’ Chestnut Street residence in Reinbeck on a report that a 13-year-old male had stabbed Halladey, Jeys’ boyfriend.

Also on Dec. 16, 2021, just after midnight — according to a separate criminal complaint — deputies found a different juvenile at Jeys’ residence who alleged Halladey came into their bedroom and woke them up some time after midnight. Halladey was later charged with assault causing bodily injury for allegedly throwing the juvenile by the arm against a wall and causing injury to their shoulder.

At the time of the incidents, Halladey was not immediately taken into custody but was treated at Grundy County Memorial Hospital (GCMH) and released early that same morning to the care of Jeys.

At around 5 a.m. the same day, a neighbor of Jeys was awakened by Halladey pounding on the door and stating Jeys was unresponsive.

When officers arrived within minutes at Jeys’ Reinbeck residence, she was found unresponsive, lying on the floor and soaking wet. Jeys was transported to Grundy County Memorial Hospital, where staff observed a fresh injury around Jeys’ left eye that had not been there earlier.

Jeys was later taken to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where she died of her injuries on Dec. 23, 2021.

On Sept. 2, 2022, the Johnson County Medical Examiner released the Autopsy Report regarding Jeys’ death and declared it a homicide with the cause of death listed as complications of blunt force injuries to the head.

Halladey pleaded guilty to the Dec. 16, 2021 assault charge in April of 2022 and was sentenced to 245 days suspended, 120 days imposed in the Grundy County Jail. At the time of his arrest on the murder charge, he was being held at the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison.

In June of 2022, Halladey entered a written Alford plea of guilty to a May 2021 domestic abuse assault charge involving Jeys and her family and was sentenced to 30 days in the Grundy County Jail. He was previously convicted of domestic abuse assault in Warren County in connection with an incident involving a former intimate partner that occurred on May 10, 2015, in Indianola.