Prosecutors could rest case in Chandler Halderson homicide trial on Wednesday

MADISON, Wis. — Fingerprints belonging to Chandler Halderson were found on a piece of duct tape stuck to a tarp that had his father’s blood on it, crime lab experts testified Tuesday.

Laura Matson, a print examiner for the Wisconsin State Crime Lab, said she was able to make the determination after receiving a set of full fingerprints from Chandler Halderson. The fingerprint on the piece of tape matched the print of Halderson’s left ring finger.

Another state crime lab analyst, Meghann McMahon, testified that she was able to match the piece of duct tape to a roll of duct tape that was found in the Halderson home.

Last week, prosecutors established the piece of tape was found stuck to a tarp inside a garbage can that also had bloodstains on it. The bloodstains inside the garbage bin and on the tarp attached to the yellow duct tape inside contained Bart Halderson’s DNA.

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Matson also testified she was able to match footprints on two tarps of interest in the case to a pair of shoes DNA analysis showed were worn by Chandler Halderson.

During cross-examination, Halderson’s defense team noted the crime lab would have no way of knowing how or when the fingerprint or shoeprints would have been made.

Analysis of a broken saw blade found disposed of in an oil drum near where Bart Halderson’s remains were found also matched a saw handle that was found in the Halderson garage, crime scene analysts said. Last week, a DNA expert also testified that Bart Halderson’s DNA was found on the broken saw blade.

Friend who gave gun to Halderson testifies

Andrew Smith, a member of the U.S. Army who met Chandler Halderson while playing video games with him online, said he was the person who gave Halderson the SKS rifle prosecutors believe was used in the alleged crime.

Smith says he had originally bought the gun for himself, but did not like the way it fired and had it sitting in storage when he decided to gift it to Halderson when he visited in June 2021, just weeks before the alleged murders.

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

Smith said he took a photo of Halderson’s driver’s license next to the gun, showing the serial number as a way to protect himself in case a crime was ever committed with the gun. In court Tuesday, Smith was able to verify the SKS rifle found hidden in a shed at the Cottage Grove farm where Bart Halderson’s remains were found was the same rifle he gave Halderson by matching the serial number. He says he also was the one to give Halderson a box of ammunition that was found in Halderson’s bedroom and three magazines of ammunition found hidden in the Halderson basement.

A firearms expert with the state crime lab was also able to verify that a spent bullet casing found on the basement floor was fired from the same SKS rifle in question.

Prosecutors could wrap up case Wednesday

After jurors were excused for the day, Dane County assistant district attorney William Brown told Judge John Hyland that the prosecution would likely be resting its case sometime Wednesday. After that, the defense would have the opportunity to call witnesses to the stand.

They have not yet indicated whether they plan to call Chandler Halderson himself to the stand, but prospective jurors were asked during the jury selection process if they would hold it against Halderson if he did not testify.

Closing arguments in the case would then be made before the case is sent to the jury for deliberation.

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