No defense witnesses called in Wisconsin dismemberment trial

Missing Couple Wisconsin (Dane County Sheriff's Office)
Missing Couple Wisconsin (Dane County Sheriff's Office)

Defense attorneys for a Wisconsin man accused of killing and dismembering his parents rested their case Thursday without calling witnesses or testimony from the defendant.

Over seven days, prosecutors laid out their case that Chandler Halderson killed his parents, 50-year-old Bart Halderson and 53-year-old Krista Halderson on July 1 in their home in Windsor about 80 miles (130 kilometers) west of Milwaukee

They contend Halderson first tried to dispose of the bodies by burning them in the family fireplace, then he scattered their dismembered body parts across Dane County.

Investigators said Halderson killed his parents after his father discovered his son had been lying about attending Madison Area Technical College. It was one in a web of lies the 27-year-old told about work, school and being on a police scuba dive team, according to prosecutors.

Halderson was arrested on July 8 after telling police the day before that his parents had gone missing after a Fourth of July trip to northern Wisconsin. Investigators said they quickly discovered his story didn't add up.

Halderson is charged with two counts each of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and falsifying information about a missing person.

On Tuesday, Hyland dismissed one of the 18 jurors after they tested positive for COVID-19. Twelve jurors will ultimately be selected to deliberate the case.

Closing arguments were expected to take place later Thursday.