OK Woman Might Be Set Free After Double-Homicide Conviction
TOPEKA, Kansas - An Oklahoma woman convicted in a double homicide might be set free.
Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned Dana Chandler's conviction. Now, the prosecutor is deciding if he will retry the case.
A nine-year mystery into who killed Karen Harkness and Michael Sisco came to an apparent end in July 2011 at a Duncan Arby's. That's when police pulled over Sisco's ex-wife Dana Chandler for a traffic stop. During the stop, law enforcement swarmed in.
“We have been able to take this cold case, resurrect it, file it and the suspect Dana Chandler was arrested this morning in Duncan, Oklahoma, at 10:30,” said Shawnee County District Attorney Chad Taylor in July 2011.
Chandler was extradited back to Kansas where the homicides took place. She was tried, convicted and sentenced to 100 years in prison.
But last month, the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously reversed all of that.
“I don’t see how a trained prosecutor can say there was a protection from abuse order when there wasn’t,” said Justice Dan Biles during the hearing.
In their opinion, justices wrote the case "unfortunately illustrates how a desire to win can eclipse the state's responsibility to safeguard the fundamental constitutional right to a fair trial."
The court said the state's case relied on limited circumstantial evidence. After her arrest, police searched Chandler's Duncan home, but investigators never found any physical evidence that linked her to the crimes.
Now, the district attorney must decide whether to bring Chandler to trial again more than 15 years after the crimes.