The sentencing of William Lynn Hillman, 24, of Pine River, is scheduled to take place at 1:30 p.m. on Jan. 26, according to Minnesota court records.
Hillman is being sentenced for the deaths of 42-year-old Denise McFadzen and her son, 21-year-old Dalton, at their mobile home outside Frazee in Otter Tail County. Hillman faces 40 years in prison for the two second-degree murder charges.
Otter Tail County Judge Kevin Miller’s Nov. 30 ruling came almost three years after the mother and son were found bludgeoned to death on April 17, 2018, at their home. Prosecutors argued that Hillman used a pipe wrench to kill the two.
Hillman told investigators he blacked out and didn’t remember what happened, according to court records. He has schizophrenia, a diagnosis that was used to determine he was not criminally responsible for attacking and threatening to kill his mother in April 2016.
Hillman tried to claim hallucinations led him to believe the McFadzen family was worshipping Satan. However, his defense failed to prove that his mental illness prevented him from understanding that killing Denise and Dalton McFadzen was wrong, Miller ruled.
“Regardless of whether defendant thought that his actions were justified, he clearly understood the nature of what he was going to do and eventually did,” Miller wrote in the 26-page opinion.
Miller determined that based on the evidence and mental health evaluations, without a trial or witness testifying in court, at Hillman’s request, that Hillman was guilty of murder. While Miller does not doubt that Hillman was suffering from schizophrenia in April of 2017, he said he did appear to have planned the killings to some extent.