According to court documents Dale Middleton would break into his neighbors home and in the course of a robbery would murder Roberta Christensen
Dale Middleton would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death
Dale Middleton Photos
Dale Middleton Now
DC Number: 801152
Name: MIDDLETON, DALE
Birth Date: 05/15/1973
Initial Receipt Date: 10/25/2012
Current Facility: UNION C.I.
Current Custody: MAXIMUM
Current Release Date: DEATH SENTENCE
Dale Middleton Case
Roberta Christensen, as well as her husband of thirty-one years, lived in a trailer across the street from Middleton. On July 1, 2009, Mr. Christensen went to New Jersey to visit the couple’s son. Before her husband left, they bought mobile phones that allowed them to use a walkie-talkie mechanism to communicate while they were apart.
Middleton lived in a trailer with Garrett Wade Fowler, Kenneth Wade Sullivan and Sullivan’s girlfriend, Haleigh Zinker. On occasion, Middleton would visit the victim at her home and would sometimes borrow money and cigarettes from her. On the morning of July 27, 2009, Middleton went over to the victim’s trailer while she was preparing to go to the bank. After he left, she realized that she had left approximately $400 in tip money out, and suspected that Middleton had seen it. She deposited the money into the bank that afternoon. When the victim returned from the bank she noticed that someone had attempted to remove the screen from the window by her front door.
On the morning of July 28, 2009, Middleton rode around with his girlfriend’s roommate, Steve Britnell, for a period of time looking for drugs. The two eventually found methamphetamine around twelve or one o’clock that afternoon. They returned to Middleton’s trailer and shared the methamphetamine. At this time, Garrett Wade Fowler and his girlfriend were also at the trailer. At approximately 4:30 p.m., Fowler and Britnell decided to go to Walmart to “boost.” Middleton declined to go, stating that he had business to take care of, that someone owed him some money, and that he needed to take a shower.
While Britnell and Fowler were gone, Dale Middleton took a knife from the sink of his trailer and went over to the victim’s home. While in the victim’s kitchen, he asked her for money. When she refused and attempted to push him out of the trailer, he attacked her with the knife. Christensen was alive and moving erratically as she was dragged from the kitchen area to the bedroom. Once in the bedroom, Middleton cut Christensen’s throat. Before leaving her home, Middleton stole her flat-screen television and power cord and carried the television across the street to his trailer. There, he washed his hands in the kitchen sink, changed his clothes, but kept his boots on. He placed the bloody clothes in a bag with the murder weapon.
When Fowler and Britnell returned to Dale Middleton’s trailer, Middleton was there with Chris Jenkins, Kenneth Wade Sullivan and Sullivan’s girlfriend. There was a flat screen television in the kitchen with a blanket covering it. At this time, Middleton had already showered and his hair was still wet. He stated that the person that owed him money had given him the television as payment.
After Jenkins and Sullivan left, Fowler was sitting on the porch as Dale Middleton stood at the door. Fowler noticed that Middleton had a red substance on his boots, which Middleton claimed happened because he got something out of the dumpster. Later, Britnell and Middleton drove around in Britnell’s black Pontiac to two different pawn shops trying to sell the victim’s television; both pawn shops were closed. They both then got on the phone and began to call around to see if they could find someone who wanted to purchase the television.
At approximately 5:30 p.m., Dale Middleton called Christopher Jenkins to his home. Middleton asked Jenkins to bring drugs with him. When Jenkins arrived at Middleton’s trailer, Middleton asked Jenkins for assistance in selling the television. After Jenkins took a photo of the television, he and Middleton went into the bedroom where Middleton crushed and consumed two Roxicodone pills, saving one pill for later.
Mrs. Christensen’s husband had last spoken to her on July 28, 2009, around 2:50 p.m. He watched a movie and fell asleep from approximately 4 p.m. to 6:40 p.m. When he woke up he was surprised that his wife had not called him; he repeatedly attempted to contact his wife on the walkie-talkie phone, to no avail. He also left a message on the home’s voicemail. Mr. Christensen called the couple’s other son who lived near the victim’s home and asked him to check on his mother.
When the Christensen’s son and his wife arrived at his parents’ home, he noticed Mrs. Christensen’s car parked in its usual spot. The trailer door was unlocked and the son went inside. When the son walked into the kitchen, he saw a big puddle of blood on the kitchen floor. Next to the puddle of blood he saw a yellow broom with a sharp edge. He followed the path of blood to a closed bedroom door. He opened the door and saw his mother’s dead body on the floor. He heard his father on the walkie-talkie calling out for him and his mother. He went outside to call the police. He stopped his wife from entering the trailer. While on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, he went back into the trailer to confirm that his mother was not breathing.
Randy Ammons helped Dale Middleton sell the television to his brother, Rolland Ammons. When Middleton went to Randy Ammons’ house, he said that he had just taken a shower and did not want the dog to jump on him. A little after 7 p.m., Middleton, in a vehicle driven by Wade Fowler, followed Randy Ammons to Ronnie Ammons’ house to sell the television. Fowler stayed outside by his car while Middleton took the television, covered with a comforter, inside and sold it to Rolland for $200. At some point earlier, while riding around trying to sell the television, Middleton placed the bag with the bloody clothes and the murder weapon inside of a dumpster.
After selling the television, Britnell drove Dale Middleton to a gas station, where Middleton purchased cocaine from someone in a truck. They consumed some of the drugs while in the car. Soon thereafter, the serpentine belt on the car broke and Britnell drove to a relative’s house to have it fixed. While the car was being fixed, Middleton walked a few hundred yards to a local bar, Brewskis, and called Britnell to pick him up once the car was fixed. When Middleton got back to the car, he was really upset and was crying while he was on the phone with his girlfriend and said, “I’m sorry.” The two drove back to the trailer park where Middleton lived. When they arrived, there were police cars in the area. Not wanting to get too close to the police officers, the two turned off at someone else’s house, where they got out of the car and stood in the yard.
Later that evening, officers found Dale Middleton at the residence of Darrell Dubel. When the officers arrived, Britnell’s car was there. At this time, Middleton was barefoot and had placed his boots and socks in Britnell’s trunk. Officer John Rhoden asked Brandon Jenkins, Britnell and Middleton to come to the Sheriff’s Office for questioning. Middleton’s boots were later recovered from the trunk and were found to have the victim’s blood on them. While in custody, Middleton confessed. The bloody clothes and the murder weapon were never discovered.