Carlos Hallowell is the adopted son of Denise Hallowell, who called 911 on July 13, 2019, who reported that he’d found his mother, Denise Hallowell, dead in their home. He’d been napping and was awoken by the dogs barking, he said, according to Fox13. Investigators found that Denise Hallowell, a 57-year-old teacher, had been murdered by an ax blow to the back of the head.


He is 17 years old.

Incident Details

The pleasant home on the lake had become a house of horrors. Denise Hollowell: found murdered in her bed. Her 17-year-old son Carlos reported the macabre discovery.

The Citrus County Sheriff threw everything he had into the search for the woman’s killer.

SHERIFF PRENDERGAST: We deployed not only air, land, and water. We put our canine units out there. And we saturated our areas of the county.

Neighbour and good friend Amy Alford heard the thump of helicopters overhead that July evening. What in the world?

AMY ALFORD: I felt my knees buckle, and I had to hold onto the post. And it was just a blur after that. We always planned to be– grow old together at the lake. That didn’t happen.

Now on that humid July evening, in the horror of that bedroom where Carlos had found his mother attacked.

Carlos Hallowell Found Guilty

On July 9, 2021, Hallowell was found guilty of the premeditated murder of his adopted mother. According to a press release, on September 14, 2021, he was sentenced to life in prison for the crime by judge Richard Howard. The judge announced that he believed Hallowell, now 19, to be an “incorrigible offender” who cannot be rehabilitated and therefore will remain in prison the rest of his life, the Chronicle reported from the sentencing hearing.

After he was found guilty, the available sentence range was between 40 years to life in prison. Hallowell told the judge, “Your honor, the only thing I ask is for justice for my mom, and mercy for me.” Since Hallowell was 17 years old at the murder, he was ineligible for the death penalty.


Hallowell spoke at his sentencing hearing, telling the court that he would like to apologize to his mother. “Although she’s not with us, I know she’s listening,” he said, according to the Citrus County Chronicle. “Mom, I’m so very sorry. Words can’t describe how I feel right now, how much I miss you, how sorry I am for what I’ve done and everything I’ve done throughout my entire life with you … I love you so much.”

According to the Chronicle, psychologists testified at his trial that Hallowell has an anti-social personality disorder and meets 16 of 20 criteria for psychopathy. He will be able to get a sentence review after 25 years behind bars, the outlet reported. Hallowell’s attorney, Assistant Public Defender Ed Spaight, expressed Hallowell’s desire to appeal the sentence. There is no update at this time on the appeal.

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