Judge orders Chandler Halderson must attend sentencing

MADISON, Wis. — The judge in the Chandler Halderson murder case has ruled the 24-year-old must attend his sentencing hearing after being convicted of killing and dismembering his parents, Bart and Krista.

Judge John Hyland issued the order Wednesday morning in response to a motion filed by Halderson’s defense saying Halderson wished to waive his right to appear and requested that he not be required to attend the sentencing hearing.

In his order, Hyland said a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in 1997 dictated that a defendant in a felony case could not voluntarily waive the right to be present at sentencing by knowingly and voluntarily being absent from the hearing. He also expressed concern that not requiring Halderson to appear for his sentencing could present future issues if he decides to appeal the case.

“Requiring his attendance at trial may violate Halderson’s expressed wishes, but it does not violate his Constitutional rights. While any right can be waived, the Court has not observed any successful appellate case where the denial of a waiver has resulted in a reversal of a conviction,” Hyland wrote in his order.

Over the weekend, prosecutor William Brown wrote a letter to Judge Hyland asking he reject Halderson’s request.

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“He is a convicted murder (sic), body mutilator, and liar. His request to skip his sentencing hearing is absurd and is an affront to the public’s interest and expectation of its court system,” Brown wrote. “The defendant has no right to simply skip court hearings that might be uncomfortable or to avoid finally being held responsible for his behavior.”

Halderson is scheduled to be sentenced at 1:30 p.m. Thursday afternoon. Wisconsin state law mandates that he be sentenced to life in prison for both first-degree intentional homicide charges of which he was convicted, although Judge Hyland could allow for the possibility of parole in the future.

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Even if the judge says Halderson will be eligible for parole in the future, it does not guarantee he will be released — that decision would be made by a parole board, and could reject the request based on the situation at that time.

You can watch the sentencing hearing live on Channel3000.com, Channel3000+ streaming apps, and the Channel3000 YouTube and Facebook pages on Thursday afternoon.

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