Halderson went door-to-door asking about security video, neighbors say
MADISON, Wis. — Several people living in Bart and Krista Halderson’s neighborhood say they were approached by Chandler Halderson on the same morning and asked whether they had security video showing the Halderson home.
Testifying during Chandler Halderson’s homicide trial Wednesday afternoon, a number of neighbors told similar stories of how he approached their front doors on the morning of July 8. Some of the neighbors captured the encounters on their Ring doorbell systems, while others said they told him they did not have video security systems, but talked to him briefly about his parents’ disappearance.
One of the neighbors, Kelly Bennett, said she had heard the Haldersons were missing a day earlier and had her husband volunteer their video to the Dane County Sheriff’s Department as part of their investigation since their camera system had a view of the Halderson driveway. When Chandler showed up on the doorstep of that home the next morning, Bennett’s sister told him they had already turned everything over to investigators.
Prosecutors did not establish why Chandler may have been looking for video of the street in front of his parents’ home, but Bart’s brother, Brett Halderson, did testify that he urged Chandler to ask around for any video that might show who came and went from the home.
Security video shows no cars left Halderson home during time Chandler Halderson claimed
When prosecutors played the video from the Bennett home, it showed no vehicles leaving from the Halderson residence during the timeframe Chandler had told police and family friends his parents had been picked up by an unknown couple, seemingly disproving Chandler’s story.
The video did show, however, multiple instances of a Volvo owned by Krista Halderson and a Subaru owned by Bart Halderson leaving and returning from the house between July 1 and July 7, with some of the outbound trips happening as early as 4:31 a.m. and some of the returning trips happening as late as 11:30 p.m.
The video also shows a different Subaru driven by Chandler Halderson’s girlfriend visiting the home multiple times during the week of July 1-July 7.
“A little nervous or detached”
Many of the neighbors testified that while they did not know Chandler Halderson well, his demeanor on the morning of July 8 was quiet and detached. One neighbor, Jay Gilbertson, noted that Chandler seemed “not all the way tuned in” when they spoke.
He also recounted portions of his conversation with Chandler, in which he asked him about the other couple the Haldersons allegedly had left with. Gilberston said he asked Chandler if the Haldersons’ disappearance meant the other couple was missing too, to which Chandler said it was possible the other couple just continued on with their trip.
Gilbertson further questioned that response, asking Chandler how his parents would get back if the other couple had kept traveling. Gilbertson said Chandler gave another vague answer that did not make sense to him. The conversation ended shortly after that exchange as Chandler walked to another house in the neighborhood.
Bart Halderson’s brother testifies
Brett Halderson also took the stand Wednesday afternoon, recounting his previous encounters with Chandler and the last time he heard from his younger brother.
Brett said his first reaction when he heard his brother and Krista were missing was that they were probably just out of cell phone range. He says he tried calling both Bart and Krista and couldn’t get through before he called Chandler to figure out what was going on, at which point Chandler told the story about them leaving with an unknown couple to head up to the cabin in Langlade County.
Brett, like the family friends who testified Wednesday morning, took issue with the portion of Chandler’s story that included Bart and Krista taking a large amount of cash and alcohol with them, saying he never knew his brother to go to casinos and he would not have kept large amounts of cash at home.
Having worked as a police officer and deputy chief himself, Brett Halderson said he gave some advice to Chandler on what he could do to help along the search for Bart and Krista, similar to what a retired police officer living near the Halderson home also told Chandler. Brett says he also had a phone conversation with that neighbor, who let him know that Chandler had stopped by.
Prosecutors also asked Brett Halderson about his relationship and interactions with Chandler in the past. Brett said Bart had mentioned Chandler was going to study solar energy at Madison College (Bart later discovered Chandler had been lying about going to college, which prosecutors claim led to his murder), and said he had helped Chandler become certified in scuba diving. While Chandler had expressed interest in becoming a member of a law enforcement dive team, Brett said to his knowledge, Chandler never worked with dive teams for Madison Police or the DNR, as he had claimed.
Prosecutors then asked Brett about the last time he heard from his brother, which led to an emotional response. Fighting back tears, Brett said he last heard from Bart on the morning of July 1 — the day he was allegedly killed — when Bart called to wish him a happy birthday.
Video from inside Halderson home shown
Prosecutors spent a large amount of the time after the afternoon break showing video taken by detectives inside the Halderson home as they found it, before they began a more destructive search of the house for evidence. The video, which was an hour and a half long in its original format, was played back at 3x speed, but still took nearly an hour to view.
The video showed every part of the Halderson home, including the broken glass on the fireplace where prosecutors allege Chandler tried to burn the remains of his parents.
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