Chandler Halderson found guilty on all charges in parents’ murders

MADISON, Wis. — Chandler Halderson, the 23-year-old charged with killing and dismembering his parents Bart and Krista, has been found guilty on all charges related to their deaths.

Halderson was charged with two counts on each of the following charges: first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and providing false information on a missing persons investigation. Halderson stood mute during his arraignment and had not guilty pleas for all counts entered on his behalf.

Jurors deliberated for roughly two hours before reaching a verdict.

Halderson now faces up to life in prison due to the first-degree intentional homicide convictions.

TIMELINE: Breaking down the details in the Halderson investigation

Over the course of eight days filled with testimony from witnesses, law enforcement officers and forensics experts, prosecutors argued that Halderson killed his parents after they exposed a web of lies about his college enrollment and job prospects.

Throughout the course of the trial, prosecutors shared hundreds of pieces of physical and digital evidence against Halderson, including phone records that placed Halderson in the same area his parents’ remains were found, DNA indicating his shoes were stained with both Bart and Krista’s blood, and analysis from experts who said they found 230 individual bone fragments in and around the family’s fireplace, many of which were later identified as human bone.

Early in the second week of testimony, Halderson tested positive for COVID-19, prompting the case to be put on hold for a week until he could return to the courtroom.

Proceedings resumed Tuesday, Jan. 18, and the prosecution and defense both rested their cases on Thursday. The defense did not call a single witness to the stand.

Closing arguments quickly followed, and the jury was dismissed for deliberation shortly after noon on Thursday.

In the wake of the jury’s verdict, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne asked the community to continue giving Bart and Krista’s family room to grieve and heal.

“The one thing that our traditional criminal justice system never really may get to is the why. It may not,” Ozanne said. “We can not reach into somebody and figure out the why unless they’re willing somehow to give that information to us. So we may never know, but we do our best, and we do our best to make sure we can cover all our bases and prove the charges that we decide to bring beyond a reasonable doubt, and I think that’s what happened here.”

MORE: Full coverage of the Chandler Halderson homicide investigation and trial — live stream, previous stories, timelines and interviews

Dane County Sheriff Kalvin Barrett, whose agency led a majority of the investigation into Bart and Krista’s deaths, credited his deputies’ work and collaboration with providing the prosecution with its robust collection of evidence.

“It is very monumental,” Barrett said. “This is a historical case, but it goes, again, to show the professionalism and the outstanding work that our team does. And again, everything is available when we work as a team in our criminal justice system.”