Report releases details on stabbing

Suspect tells police he nearly killed woman

A Franklin woman suffered serious eye and facial injuries after a man she was in a relationship with stabbed her, police said.

The suspect, Brandon K. Hallgarth, 34, Indianapolis, told police he had nearly killed a woman in Franklin. He was arrested in Indianapolis a few hours after the incident during an unrelated drunken-driving traffic stop, police records show.

Police had been called to the Countryview mobile home community on Hospital Road in Franklin about 2:20 a.m. Sunday. A man called 911 because a woman had come to his mobile home and was bleeding from the face.

Franklin police launched an investigation, and the victim, Tesa Miller, 33, was taken to Indiana University Health Methodist Hospital. She was in stable condition on Monday, a hospital spokesperson said.

Hallgarth will be charged with felony aggravated battery with a habitual offender enhancement, Johnson County Prosecutor Brad Cooper said. If convicted, Hallgarth could face three to 36 years in prison, Cooper said.

The investigation is ongoing and additional charges are possible, Cooper said. The extent of Miller’s injuries are unknown, and additional charges could be filed based on doctors’ reports, Cooper said.

Hallgarth was on parole after serving five prison stints for multiple felony convictions in Shelby County since 2001 and multiple parole and probation violations. His convictions include mischief, battery causing injury to a pregnant woman and resisting law enforcement, according to state records.

Hallgarth was released from state prison on Jan. 1 and was on parole for the rest of the year, the Indiana Department of Correction said.

Police are continuing to investigate what led up to the attack, and police Chief Tim O’Sullivan was not aware of what, if any, motive Hallgarth had.

About one hour and 20 minutes after the stabbing, an Indiana State Capitol police officer stopped a minivan after seeing it drive southbound in the northbound lanes of West Street in downtown Indianapolis, according to a court document. Hallgarth was the driver, and he told police that he was really drunk and had drank seven beers, the court document said. The officer saw what appeared to be dried blood on his shorts and hands, the document said.

Police had him perform field sobriety tests, and then gave him a portable alcohol-breath test. His blood-alcohol content measured 0.213 percent, which is nearly three times the 0.08 limit considered by state law to be too drunk to drive a car, the court document said.

When the officer told him he was going to be arrested, Hallgarth became agitated and told police “I nearly killed a girl tonight” and “I stabbed a woman in the face,” the court document said.

Police took Hallgarth to the hospital for a blood-alcohol test, and then learned that Franklin police were searching for Hallgarth. He was taken to the Marion County jail on a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle while intoxicated, and a judge approved the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office request to keep Hallgarth in jail for up to 15 days because he is on parole, the prosecutor’s office said.

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Michele Holtkamp is editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2774.