• Rapist pleads guilty in Bellevue woman's 1980 murder


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    Quick Facts:

    • Sex offender pleads guilty in 1980 cold case.
    • Victim, Susan Lowe, was strangled, raped
    • Sex offender linked to case by DNA in 2012


    A convicted rapist has pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in the 1980 death of a 19-year-old Bellevue woman.

    Michael Allan Halgren appeared in court Thursday to enter the plea in the rape and strangulation of Susan Lowe.

    Halgren is currently in the King County Jail, but he's been imprisoned at McNeil Island's Special Commitment Center since 2000 when he was civilly committed as a sexually violent predator.

    Prosecutors recommended a sentence of life in prison and $50,000 fine.

    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 Halgren is ever granted parole, he would be returned to the Special Commitment Center.  He will be sentenced next month.

     Lowe was found dead in the bedroom of her apartment on 148th Avenue Southeast the morning of April 24, 1980.  At the time, detectives from the Bellevue Police Department collected semen from the crime scene but there was no such thing as a DNA test back in the early 1980s, and a suspect was never identified.

    However, in December 2012, a DNA match to Halgren was made.

    Halgren has admitted to raping more than 20 women since the early 1970s.

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