Friday, December 16, 2005


Ron from Blog of The Hurricane, and I co-wrote this paper for a friend's high school criminology class. The Subject is Charles Michael Hedlund, Convicted Murderer

Of all the choices God had made in giving the gift of life, the most brutal and morally unacceptable gift was given to an undeserving world –and two unassuming parents- when their child was born on November 22, 1964. It wasn’t until 27 years later that anyone had any idea of the sadistic nature of the once innocent, young Charles
Michael Hedlund.
On March 10, 1991 Scotty Merten was feeling optimistic about his future. He had just received his acceptance letter from Brown. To celebrate, he made arrangements to meet his beloved mother at the local Mongolian BBQ. But, his mother never showed up. The waiter continued to refill his diet coke as he watched the minute hand on his watch tick away into an impoverished oblivion. Twenty minutes go by. Forty five. The sun set on an unforgiving horizon as Scotty was forced to conclude that his mother was not going to be showing up. Scotty progressed towards his Buick LaSabre where he had left his cell phone. No answer. He headed towards his mother’s house on the outskirts of the town. Oh….what Scotty was to find. His mother. His beloved mother. Who fed him at her generous breast. Tonight the only ones to have an acceptable meal, were the cats.
Charles and his half brother, James Erin McKinney proved just how sadistic they could be that night. The two of them muscled their way into the home of 40 year old Christine Mertens and ended her life in the most violent fashion. They pillaged her bedroom and dumped out her purse before shooting her and beating the life out of her panic stricken body. Three nights later the two men proved that their remorseless killing binge and insatiable thirst for blood was no fluke, for they broke into the home of the 65 year old James McClain. The men gutlessly shot him in the head while he lay in his bed. Oh the dread. The two men stole two lives in the pursuit of personal Items and Firearms. Clearly, the booty was of much lesser value.
This crime would prove to be too much. The heartstrings of the Arizona judicial system had been tugged so hard that the perpetrating fingers poured out their hot blood on the icy porch steps of justice. The state of Arizona would bring back the death penalty for the sole purpose of witnessing the glorious demise of one Charles Michael Hedlund. Weep not, Mr. and Mrs. Hedlund. That’s not your baby boy walking towards that chamber, but a shell - A shell that had once housed the soul of your sweet progeny, who portrayed St. Joseph in the annual Christmas pageant, who portrayed little Michael in his fifth grade class’s production of Peter Pan. That is not who is walking towards that chamber. No.
And who was this venerable man in black to bring down the gavel on Hedlund’s poor excuse for a life? None other than the Honorable Steven D. Sheldon. And who was the man unabashedly propositioning the court with the will of the people? That would be the man they call Louis Stalzer. And how long did it take them to conclude the guilt of one Charles Michael Hedlund? A mere thirty days, from the thirteenth of October, 1992 till the twelfth of November. And how long did it take them to conclude that Hedlund’s life was not worth sparing? A while longer, as the conclusion was not reached until the thirtieth of July, the following year! But, what of the mitigating circumstances? How about previous drug and alcohol abuse coupled with an abusive childhood? Oh for shame, Mr. and Mrs. Hedlund. Oh…for shame.
I, Brittany Cotant, Believe that a man of such pure evil, a man of such pure shame and heartlessness should pay with his life for the two he yanked from their nests of comfortable obscurity. I believe that Charles Michael Hedlund should be hanged from the highest mountain peak in an exhibition of justice so obvious and true that no man dares to follow a similar path of physical and emotional mutilation. I hope his bodyless soul serves as a sponge so that all the pain felt by the loved ones of Christine Mertens and James McCain can seep into his lowly existence and torture him for an eternity spent pushing red hot rocks in the fiery pits of Hell.