MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Dane County judge has denied Chandler Halderson’s request not to be present in the courtroom when his sentence for killing and dismembering his parents is handed down Thursday.
Circuit Judge John Hyland said in his order that Halderson could not voluntarily waive his legal right to appear at sentencing. Hyland cited a 1997 Wisconsin Supreme Court case that found a fugitive who missed her sentencing had to be re-sentenced when she was again taken into custody.
The 24-year-old Halderson on Friday filed a motion and affidavit seeking to give up his right to be present and to speak at his sentencing.
Deputy District Attorney William Brown argued against Halderson’s motion, saying the defendant had no right to simply skip court hearings that might be uncomfortable, or to avoid finally being held responsible for his behavior.
Halderson was convicted on two counts each of first-degree intentional homicide, mutilating a corpse, hiding a corpse and falsifying information about a missing person. A first-degree intentional homicide conviction carries a mandatory life sentence. Hyland will be left to decide if Halderson will ever be eligible for parole.
Investigators said Halderson killed his parents after his father discovered he had been lying about attending Madison Area Technical College. It was one in a web of lies he told about work, school and being on a police scuba dive team, according to prosecutors.