Wisconsin Man Gets Life for Killing His Parents

Chandler Halderson attacked them after lies about his life, including a new job at SpaceX, fell apart
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 4, 2022 6:38 PM CST
Updated Mar 17, 2022 6:10 PM CDT
Wisconsin Man Accused of Killing Parents Goes on Trial
Chandler Halderson enters Dane County Circuit Court in Madison, Wis. during the opening of his trial Tuesday, Jan. 4, 2022.   (John Hart/Wisconsin State Journal via AP)

Update: A Wisconsin judge sentenced a 24-year-old man to life in prison without the possibility of parole Thursday for killing his parents and dismembering their bodies. Chandler Halderson also was given the maximum penalties allowed on related charges, WMTV reports. At sentencing, prosecutors said Halderson had supportive parents, adding that, if anything, his mother had doted on him too much. Halderson said Thursday that he plans to appeal, the first time he's spoken in court. "It's not that I do not have feelings, it's that that I was warned not to show them due to the scrutiny of this case," he said. Our original story from January follows:

A 23-year-old Wisconsin man charged with killing and dismembering his parents committed the crimes after his lies unraveled about having a job, going to school, and having a better job waiting for him in Florida, prosecutors said Tuesday. Chandler Halderson shot his father in the back on July 1 shortly after his father discovered his deceit and then killed his mother when she returned home a few hours later, Dane County Deputy District Attorney William Brown said in his opening statement at Halderson's trial. Halderson's attorney Catherine Dorl countered that her client is “just a normal kid” who liked to play video games and did not kill his parents, the Wisconsin State Journal reports.

Halderson is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating and hiding a corpse, and giving false information to authorities in the deaths of Bart Halderson, 50, and Krista Halderson, 53, the AP reports. Chandler Halderson reported his parents missing on July 7, telling investigators that they never returned home to Dane County from a Fourth of July weekend trip to their cabin in northern Wisconsin. Bart Halderson’s remains were found in rural Dane County on July 8, the day Chandler Halderson was arrested. Authorities said he was shot once before his body was dismembered. Six days later, investigators found Krista Halderson’s remains along the Wisconsin River in Sauk County, according to the complaint.

Brown said Halderson presented himself to the world as a soon-to-be graduate of a renewable resources engineering program at Madison Area Technical College, with a job at American Family Insurance and a better one waiting for him at Elon Musk’s SpaceX. Halderson fabricated dozens if not hundreds of emails between himself and MATC and American Family to back his story, but Bart Halderson was starting to ask questions about why he never seemed to have any money, Brown said. The prosecutor said Bart Halderson was shot after a conversation with an MATC official uncovered his son's lies. (Read more Wisconsin stories.)

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