Chandler Halderson, 23, has been charged with homicide, mutilating a corpse, and filing a false report of a missing person
A young man in Wisconsin has been accused of murdering his parents after they realised his impressive career was a web of lies.
Prosecutors say Chandler Halderson, 23, told his parents he was taking online classes and working remotely for an insurance company while he continued to live at home. Then, in June 2021, Mr Halderson had exciting news: he’d gotten a new job at SpaceX, and would be moving to Florida soon to join the company.
In reality, prosecutors say, Mr Halderson was spending his time playing video games. He had never worked at an insurance company, there was no SpaceX job, and he had failed out of community college after just one semester.
Eventually, Mr Halderson’s father, Bart Halderson, began to catch on to the lies. But right when he was about to confront his son, prosecutors say, Mr Halderson shot him dead, and then killed his mother, Krista Halderson, when she came home.
According to the criminal complaint against him, Mr Halderson then dismembered both his parents’ bodies and disposed of the pieces all over Wisconsin.
He has been charged with intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse, and falsely reporting a missing person. For each crime, he has been charged with two counts – one for each parent.
Mr Halderson has pleaded not guilty to all charges. His lawyer, Catherine Dorl, has insisted that prosecutors have their story wrong.
“They simply don’t know what happened,” Ms Dorl said at Mr Halderson’s trial. “Look for what’s missing… Look for alternate explanations.”
Prosecutors, meanwhile, say it was Mr Halderson’s web of deception that eventually led to the murders. Right before Bart Halderson died, they say, he had just called his son’s college and found out he was no longer a student there.
“There was no way out of his lies,” Deputy District Attorney William Brown told the jury.
Mr Halderson’s trial is expected to last three or four weeks. If convicted, the 23-year-old could face life in prison.