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.


Randall J. said...

talk about an appeal to the emotions..
compress this into a soundbite and you could get you your own TV news show on Fox.

Mindy Barnes said...

I am Scott Mertens girlfriend. He has never really fully explained to me what happened that night. This rendition of what happened sent chills down my spine. If you knew what a small, frail, gentle-looking woman Christine was you could hardly believe that anyone could treat her so brutally. She was a good woman from what Scott has told me. I want to know why the hell the executions for these two (there was also his accomplice Mr. James Mckinney) have been stayed? They were stayed in 1993 and they still haven't injected these bastards. I want justice for my Scotty's mom.

Mindy said...

My mistake the sentencing was in 1993, the execution was scheduled for 2002 but it was stayed and Charles Hedlund is still alive and breathing. It was 15 years last month that she's been gone, years that he's been alive. Where is the fairness in that?

Anonymous said...

I notice you quote God and use religious imagery, as all death penalty advocates do . As an atheist I am always perplexed that Christin folks and Americans who support the death penalty, cannot see the outstanding hypocricy in believing in an all encompassing creator and taker of life on one hand, and then stand cheering the state as it takes a life on the other..

Cliche as it is, I have to say, what would Jesus do?

sjmertens said...

I am Scott Mertens and the scenario of me described in this posting is completely and utterly inaccurate. I was never accepted to Brown. Did not have dinner plans to "celebrate." Did not own a Buick LaSabre or a cell phone. In fact, it was my brother that found her body in the house. I was at work. The police came to me to give me the news of my mother's death.

I am not sure if this blog was meant to be partially fictional. But if its intent was to be exactly what happened, I would suggest sticking to the facts or verifying your facts prior to posting.

Thank you,
Scott Mertens

the integrity league said...

As a matter of fact, most of this essay (anything not available from our friend's class notes) was meant to be entirely fictional.

BD said...

I am BD, founder of BD's Mongolian Barbecue. I would like to point out that I opened my first restaurant in 1993, two years after said evens. Also, there are no Arizona locations for our fine franchise.

Please stick to the facts kind sirs.

Thank you.
Billy "BD" Downs

Anonymous said...

"the integrity league said...
As a matter of fact, most of this essay (anything not available from our friend's class notes) was meant to be entirely fictional.

2:20 AM "

If you're going to post something "most of [which is] meant to be entirely fictional," you should stipulate that somewhere in the posting - especially since it's based on a true story.

Also, since Scott Mertens responded, and the nature of the story is so horrible, rather than starting your retort with "as a matter of fact...," you should have said "I'm so sorry, Mr. Mertens for your loss, and forgive 'us' for misleading..." (which would be much more in line with the term "integrity")otherwise it seems the very purpose for posting this story is to serve yourself and not Mr. Mertens.

The Integrity League said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Integrity League said...

I could easily respond to a post that begins " I AM Scotty Mertens" with one that begins " I am Colonel Sanders" and neither claim could really be verified. Being that this is the internet, I'm not going to focus too much on appealing to a bunch of specific/anonymous people posting sporadically on my blog in reference to a post written a few years ago about a crime that was in the national news (and is now in high school criminology text books). Thanks for watching out for integrity, "Anonymous"!

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