A Doting Nevada Father Became The Victim Of His Own Daughter
Daniel Halseth believed he was protecting his youngest child, Sierra, when he filed for custody, but his act of parental sacrifice led to his untimely murder.
It had been a rough decade for Daniel Halseth’s children by the time 2020 began. By then, Daniel had been divorced from his ex-wife — Elizabeth, the children’s mother — for almost 8 years, and the idyllic life they’d lived together as a family of five was just a memory.
It had been a whirlwind romance for Daniel and Elizabeth. She was just a senior in high school when they met, but they fell in love and married in 2001 right after she graduated. Then came the children — a daughter born in 2002, a son in 2003, and their youngest daughter in 2004. According to family members, the youngest, Sierra, was moody and withdrawn, but Daniel was unphased; he loved her through it and worked hard to bring a smile to her face.
By 2006, the family was living in Nevada where Daniel worked in IT, and he and Elizabeth dabbled in local politics. The local involvement made Elizabeth set her eyes on the Nevada State Senate, and the family underwent another large change when she won her 2010 bid. Daniel became a stay-at-home parent to their children while Elizabeth spent the legislative sessions in Carson City, more than seven hours away from their Las Vegas home. The distance was hard on the couple, and when marriage counseling didn’t work, Daniel filed for divorce.
Despite the new living situation with Daniel in an apartment nearby, he still worked hard to make sure the kids had a great time during visitation with him. The situation was hard on all three children, but it seemed to affect Sierra deeply as well.
2012 brought more devastation to Daniel when Elizabeth announced she was taking the kids and moving to Alaska. The move meant Daniel only saw his kids a couple of times a year until Elizabeth moved back to Las Vegas with her new husband in 2020.
Daniel was ecstatic that he would finally be able to see the kids regularly and get to know them as teens. He was concerned, however, when Sierra began texting him that she didn’t feel safe at home with her mother and new stepfather. After Sierra and her siblings spent June 2020 with Daniel, Sierra refused to return to her mother’s home, even defying a later court order and repeatedly running away to her father’s house as 2020 wore on.
In December, Daniel learned that Sierra, then 15, was seeing an 18-year-old named Aaron Guerrero, and that the pair was planning to run away to Los Angeles. He forbid her from seeing Guerrero any more.
A Wrathful Reunion
On April 8, 2021, Guerrero reportedly ran away from his home and met up with Sierra. The pair then went shopping and purchased gloves, bleach, and saws. Sierra’s grandmother — Daniel’s mother — texted her throughout the day in an attempt to reach her father, but Sierra reportedly stalled, telling her grandmother that her father was either in the shower or that his phone wasn’t working.
On April 9, Sierra’s grandmother sent a friend to check on Daniel; it was obvious immediately that something was very, very wrong. The front door was unlocked, and there was a large, scorched spot on the floor of the living room. The home was quiet, and there was no immediate sign of Daniel or Sierra. Instead, they found his lifeless body near the garage door. He’d been stabbed more than 70 times, and there were pocket knives in the kitchen sink and a chainsaw in the living room, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal.
Sierra and Guerrero were found four days later in Salt Lake City. When investigators looked at their phones, they reportedly found a video of the pair laughing about the murder.
In May 2022, Sierra and Guerrero pleaded guilty to the murder as well as arson, conspiracy, robbery, and fraudulent use of a credit card. They were sentenced to 22-years-to-life in prison with the possibility of parole. Sierra, who is now 18, is housed at the Florence McClure Women’s Correctional Center. Guerrero, now 20, is housed at the High Desert State Prison.
For more on this case, stream American Monster: “Three Days After Murder” on Max.