MADISON, Wis. — DNA analysis presented during the sixth day of the Chandler Halderson homicide trial found he was the person wearing the shoes stained with his parents’ blood.
Denise Jones from the Wisconsin State Crime Lab testified Tuesday that she tested a number of items and swabs taken around the Halderson home as part of the investigation. Using DNA samples from Bart, Krista, Mitchell and Chandler Halderson, she was able to determine whose blood and DNA was on several items found by investigators.
That includes a pair of Brooks shoes that were found in the family’s garage. Investigators previously testified they found what they believed to be dried blood on the sole and tongue of the shoes. In addition to testing the bloodstains, authorities also swabbed inside the heel of the shoes to see who typically wore the shoes.
Jones said her tests revealed both Bart and Krista Halderson’s DNA was found in the bloodstains on the shoes, and the swab inside the shoe revealed it was Chandler Halderson who wore them.
In addition to confirming the blood of Bart and Krista Halderson was on the pair of shoes, their DNA was also a match for DNA found on bloodstains in various other areas of the home and pieces of evidence.
Jones said Bart Halderson’s DNA was found on a blood stain inside the family’s garbage bin and a broken saw blade recovered from the Cottage Grove farm. Both Bart and Krista’s DNA were found from blood on scissors blades, a hand saw blade, pruning shears, as well as several locations on an axe that was discovered in the family’s garage: the axe head, the hilt where the axe head meets the handle, and the top of the axe.
Jurors see autopsy photos
Prosecutors called Dr. Cori Breslauer, Dane County’s Deputy Medical Examiner, to the stand Tuesday afternoon to testify on their findings after examining Bart Halderson’s remains.
Dr. Breslauer said at least three gunshot wounds were found on Bart Halderson’s dismembered torso, including one where the entry wound came at close contact to his back. Further inspection found evidence that Bart Halderson was shot while he was still alive, but the dismemberment occurred after his death. Dr. Breslauer said it was impossible to tell what order the gunshots came in, but did rule that the shots would have been fatal. They marked the manner of death as homicide because the wounds could not have been self-inflicted.
The remains were confirmed to be Bart Halderson based on a comparison of x-rays of his torso from when he was still alive. Dr. Breslauer testified seeing multiple points that matched up on the post-mortem x-ray, helping confirm his identity. DNA was also taken from the remains.
DNA testing also confirmed legs and other human body parts found near the Wisconsin River in the Town of Roxbury belonged to Krista Halderson.
Prosecutors also played a pair of surveillance videos Tuesday afternoon, showing Chandler Halderson buying items at a local Kwik Trip and Fleet Farm.
As shown previously in the trial, Halderson bought two large bags of ice from Kwik Trip at about 8:23 p.m. on July 1. Later that night, neighbors would report smelling a “pungent” odor in the air while footage from a security camera facing the Halderson home showed a flickering light coming from the house’s family room, where a fireplace is located.
On the morning of July 2, Halderson was recorded walking into a Fleet Farm. Surveillance video showed Halderson wandering the aisle where the store keeps its tarps. Halderson bought a 6×8 silver and black heavy-duty tarp, with a receipt showing the purchase taking place at 7:21 a.m. that day. A similar tarp was later discovered in a shed on the property where Bart Halderson’s remains were found. The tarp appeared to have multiple bloodstains on it, which were then tested for DNA.
Testing found that DNA from both Bart and Krista Halderson was on the tarp.
Prosecutors had hoped to wrap up their case and rest by Friday, but news of Chandler Halderson testing positive for COVID-19 has delayed the trial. Judge John Hyland is expected to address the jury on the delay on Wednesday morning. The length of the delay has not yet been determined but is expected to be at least one week.
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