Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Baraboo man sentenced to prison for fatally shooting sister
topical alert top story

Baraboo man sentenced to prison for fatally shooting sister

  • 0
Court gavel

A Baraboo man who entered into a plea agreement with the Oconto County District Attorney’s Office after being charged with reckless homicide in the shooting death of his sister was sentenced to prison Monday.

Christopher G. Halase, 30, was charged with felony second-degree reckless homicide, homicide by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon and a misdemeanor count of using a firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance.

Christopher G. Halase

C. Halase

Oconto County Circuit Court Judge Michael T. Judge sentenced Halase to five years in prison and five years of extended supervision for the felony negligent homicide charge. The other two charges were dismissed, but “read in,” which means they were considered in sentencing. Halase had entered a no contest plea to the charge during a hearing Sept. 7.

Oconto County District Attorney Edward Burke recommended two years in prison and four years of extended supervision.

Judge may have considered a statement by Halase’s mother, Katherine Neff, of Mountain, in the sentencing. According to a report published in the Green Bay Press Gazette, Neff cried on the stand as she told the judge to give her son the maximum sentence possible.

Neff was there the night of the shooting in August 2020. Ashley Halase, 31, of Reedsburg, died after a bullet from a gun owned by Christopher hit her in the neck. Ken Halase, their father, contends that it isn’t possible Christopher shot Ashley because he always admits his mistakes.

Baraboo man, father maintain innocence as he faces sentencing for shooting sister

According to court documents and witness statements, Christopher, Ashley and Ashley’s husband Mike went out to a bar after spending the day at Neff’s home in the town of Doty. They returned around midnight and Christopher, who had been target shooting earlier in the day as he had from a young age, showed both of them how to fire one of his handguns before they went inside.

Ashley and Mike went into Neff’s room, where she was playing an online game at her computer with her back turned to them. Both Mike and Neff told police that Ashley was laughing uncontrollably at one point while they were talking. Christopher was in the kitchen smoking a bowl of weed.

Support Local Journalism

Your membership makes our reporting possible.

Witness accounts vary. Mike initially told police that he saw Christopher playing with a gun in the doorway before Ashley was shot and that he had seen Christopher making a gun motion with his hands. Four days later, he said he didn’t see a gun at all and never saw any type of hand motion. He told police that he simply heard a loud bang, his ear started to ring and then he saw Christopher running into the room with Ashley lying on her back.

Mike said he never saw a gun and only saw one of Christopher’s hands as Christopher went to comfort his sister. Mike said Halase was apologizing to Ashley. People who had been gaming online with Neff said they heard the shot and yelling. One said he assumed one of the voices was Mike because of a heavy accent, yelling as he was asking why it happened. Another voice, recognized by one of the gamers as Christopher’s, yelled in response that he thought “it was unloaded.”

Christopher ran to grab rags from the kitchen while Neff called for an ambulance. As they put pressure on the wound, Christopher became angry and started yelling at the dispatcher on the phone before hanging up. He was visibly upset when a deputy with the Oconto County Sheriff’s Office showed up. The deputy placed Christopher in the back of his vehicle after trying to reason with him, according to the complaint.

When Christopher had first run outside, there had been a single gunshot. Neff said she was worried he had harmed himself, but Christopher had gone to a nearby garage to secure the pistols he kept there.

In his initial statement outside the home, Christopher was inebriated. A blood test taken two hours later resulted in a blood alcohol content of 0.121%. Another resident told police that Christopher had admitted to ingesting cocaine earlier in the day.

He told the deputy that he had a Smith and Wesson .45 auto revolver and a 9mm SCCY CPX-2 handgun and told the deputy where they were kept. He said the bang of a gunshot caused him to run into the room to help Ashley before grabbing the 9mm and putting it in its box in the garage. When he was next interviewed around 1:30 p.m. that day, he wasn’t clear when questioned. According to reports from interviewers, Investigator Troy Sherman and Agent Brad Kust of the Wisconsin Department of Justice Division of Criminal Investigation, he said the shooting was his fault but also said he couldn’t remember what happened.

Baraboo man facing felony charges of killing sister in Octonto County shooting

After being shot, Ashley was taken via ambulance and died on the way to a nearby hospital.

As conditions of the extended supervision once Christopher is released from prison, he is prohibited from possessing or consuming alcohol, illegal drugs or drug paraphernalia. He must maintain absolute sobriety and cannot enter any establishment where the main purpose is to sell alcohol. He is also not allowed to have contact with anyone known to use, possess or sell illegal drugs.

Judge also ordered Christopher to obtain a GED or the equivalent of a high school diploma as a condition of the time on supervision. Christopher was given 99 days of jail credit for time already served.

Follow Bridget on Twitter @cookebridget or contact her at 608-745-3513.


Sign up for our Crime & Courts newsletter

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


News Alert

Breaking News