Weapon supplier offers twist to Halderson gun testimony – HNGnews.com


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The double murder case against Chandler M. Halderson has included many witnesses who are law enforcement officers and other professionals with expertise in crime detection and scientific methods.

On Tuesday, Dane County Assistant District Attorney William Brown offered a different sort of testimony against the 23-year-old: Andrew Smith, an online gaming friend and the man who claims to have given Halderson the weapon and ammunition used to kill his parents, Bart and Krista Halderson of Windsor, on July 1, 2021.

Smith is a recently discharged U.S. Army veteran who now lives in Kansas, and his demeanor on the witness stand projected a person comfortable using military lingo. He ended most of answers with “sir,” including a response to Chandler Halderson’s female defense attorney. When asked to spell his name for the court, he used a military alphabet for the letters.

Smith told the court he first got to know Chandler Halderson in 2018 or 2019, when Smith was stationed at a U.S. Army base in Germany. They played first-person, online shooter games almost daily, he testified.

Smith suffered a head injury in a Humvee accident in Germany and returned to Kansas, according to his testimony. That led to them playing more often, as they were in the same time zone, he said, with the most common game called “Escape from Tarkov.”

Brown asked Smith about the Russian-style SKS rifle option in the game. Smith replied that it was a fun weapon to use.

Brown asked Smith what he knew of Chandler Halderson’s life. Smith thought he was in college and selling solar panels.

Smith made what he called a last-minute decision to drive from Kansas to Windsor in June, and that’s when, he said, he decided to give Chandler Halderson a SXS and ammunition.

Smith had bought the gun from a firearms dealer with a federal license. He said he fired about 20 rounds with the gun but did not like the extra kick of the weapon.

Smith told the court he stayed in the basement of the Halderson home when he visited during the weekend stay. The activities included going swimming at a river and visiting sporting goods stores in the area.

When he gave Halderson the gun, Smith said, Halderson was happy and smiled. He put the rifle in the basement wood pile to conceal it.

Smith said the gift included precisely 480 rounds of ammunition in a can Smith had stenciled with the size. He gave Halderson three magazines to hold the ammunition and showed him how to load the magazines.

“I’m the only weirdo that stencils ammo cans,” Smith said.

Brown asked Smith if he knew if Bart and Kristen Halderson were gun people. Smith’s response was they understood why they exist in the world.

Brown asked Smith whether Chandler had any weapons, and he said he had once sent him a picture of a modified AR-15 rifle. Smith said Chandler told him he kept his guns at the cabin.

Chandler Halderson and Smith continued to correspond on the computers after he left, Smith said, adding that Halderson told him he had suffered a head injury in a household fall and would not be able to fly to Florida.

Smith was in Texas when the killings happened, he said, adding that Halderson spoke with him about his missing parents. Smith said he reached out to law enforcement when he learned of the murders.

“I’m not going to be a broken piece of glass,” Smith said of his reason for cooperating. He elaborated: “I served in the Army and I’m not going to be (cursed) for something I didn’t do.”

During the cross-examination by Halderson’s attorney, Catherine Dorl, Smith was asked about other gun transfers he made using the driver’s license and serial number picture method. He said he had done it several times.

When Dori asked him how many, he said, “That’s none of your business.”

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