Denise Hallowell a school teacher in Marion County, Florida, was murdered on July 13, 2019, at her home in Citrus County. NBC’s Dateline covered her story in the most recent episode. Authorities were later called to the scene by her adopted son, named Carlos Hallowell.
The teenager told police officers he was sleeping in his room and was awakened by dogs barking. He later discovered his mother’s body and soon called 911. But after nine weeks in court, investigators arrested Carlos Hallowell and charged him with first-degree murder.
Who was Denise Hallowell?
Denise was a 57-year-old Marion County, Florida native who worked as a teacher. She was a single mother with the responsibility of raising two adopted sons on her own. However, she did not even consider that one of her sons will take her life. The sheriff said it was difficult to understand how someone could murder their mother in cold blood.
The online or digital evidence also pointed the finger at Carlos Hallowell. The sheriff said each digital device leaves different evidence from the crime scene behind everything that used to be done in everyday life. He further added that the 17-year-old boy may have tried to destroy the physical evidence from the crime scene and hide it from them.
Carlos struggled with drug addiction and was also expelled from school
Denis Hallowell’s son Carlos was fired from his Seven Rivers Christian School for possessing marijuana and using many drugs at such a young age. It was noted that Hallowell had a happy childhood and did very well in school, but in the courtroom while at trial he said things changed when he turned 11. He started using alcohol and drugs and tried marijuana, cocaine, prescription pills, LSD, methamphetamine, and ecstasy.
He was expelled from school in January 2019 but attempted to hide this information from his mother until May 2019 when she found the same herself. At the time of the sentencing, Denise Hallowell was advised by the judge to be stricter on her son to help him overcome his drug problems. However, it has been said that Carlos Hallowell wanted to take over his mother’s property, cars, and real estate business.
Denise Hallowell lost her job because of her younger son’s abusive nature
According to police officials, one of the pieces of digital evidence was discovered, which appears to be an electronic device that Carlos took from his home and dumped in a pond. However, the police managed to dive into the pond and recover it with the help of the high-tech crime unit. Additionally, Carlos was one of Denise Hallowell’s two adopted sons, whom he defended from abuse and allegations by another son. Denise Hallowell adopted two children due to her adoptive background.
Denise adopted Carlos – her older son from Guatemala and another child (the younger son) from Honduras. In 2016, she was accused of being molested by her younger son when he was 12 and Carlos was 14. At the time, Denise Hollowell was a teacher. Because of this incident, she lost her job and reputation in her workplace. She repeatedly tried to protest her innocence and the case was eventually dropped for lack of evidence. After the indictment, the younger brother was taken out of the home and Carlos grew up separately with his mother.
Trial of Carlos Hallowell
In September 2021, he was sentenced to life in state custody for the brutal murder of his mother on July 13, 2019. Carlos said in a court case:
“Even though she’s not with us, I know she’s listening. mom, i’m so sorry. Words can’t describe how I’m feeling right now, how much I miss you, how sorry I am for what I’ve done and everything I’ve done with you my entire life… I love you so much.”