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A Wisconsin man who posed as a SpaceX worker before killing both his parents and dumping their body parts across the state will spend the rest of his life behind bars, a judge ruled this week.
Chandler Halderson was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility for parole by Judge John D. Hyland on Thursday. He was convicted in January of intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and falsifying information about a missing person in the deaths of his parents, Bart Halderson, 50, and Krista Halderson, 53.
The 24-year-old was initially arrested in July 2021 after misleading investigators and falsely reporting the abduction of his parents, claiming they’d disappeared during a trip to the family’s cabin.
“I have to, for this sentencing, ensure that the only time Mr. Halderson comes back into the community is to have the privilege of the burial he denied his parents,” Hyland told the court during sentencing, Madison television station WMTV reported.
During his trial, Dane County prosecutors accused Halderon of being a chronic liar and calculating sociopath who’d spun an “amazing web of lies” leading up to and following his parents’ double murder — lies which ultimately caught up with him.
Halderson had posed as a successful college student who’d recently secured employment with SpaceX, prosecutors said. The college dropout also bragged that he was a former police scuba diver, claimed to be an insurance salesman and lied to his girlfriend about moving to Florida and securing an apartment there.
Halderson ultimately shot and killed his father during a family dispute after Bart Halderson found out his son wasn’t enrolled at Madison College, where he’d claimed to have been studying renewable resource engineering. He then murdered Krista Halderson when she returned home. The couple’s son then dismembered them and hid their remains in various locations across Wisconsin.
"When faced with, in the grand scheme of things, a minor inconvenience in his life, Mr. Halderson chose to commit first-degree homicide two times," Deputy District Attorney William Brown said. "And over the course of several days, chose to cut up those peoples' bodies and spread them around the state ... I don't know how you protect the public from someone like that. ... As long as he breathes, he will be a risk."
Bart Halderson’s remains were recovered from a rural property in Cottage Grove last July, according to a probable cause affidavit reviewed by Oxygen.com. A dismembered leg belonging to Krista Halderson was later found on a riverbank. Parts of a human skull were also found in the fireplace of the family’s home, according to officials.
Prosecutors previously warned the jury that they’d see approximately 100 body parts during Chance Halderson’s trial.
Prosecutors insisted that Halderson had no apparent remorse for his actions.
“There was not even a moment that he mourned his parents,” prosecutor Andrea Raymond said, the DeForest Times-Tribune reported.
Halderson’s legal team, meanwhile, lamented the stiff sentence the young Wisconsin man was dealt.
“For the reasons set forth in our written sentencing memo, we are disappointed for any human being who receives a life-without-parole sentence,” his public defender, Catherine Dorl, said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com. “Obviously this includes Chandler.”
The Dane County public defender also pushed back on apparent public criticism for her team's provision of a legal defense to Halderson.
“We overtly refuse to defend ourselves to anyone other than our client,” Dorl said. “We wish that if anything can be learned by live-streaming this trial, it is that the role and duties of defense attorneys can be respected rather than criticized. That every person, no matter the circumstances, deserves the rights gifted to us all by the Constitution.”
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