Phone hookup to link courtroom to Oba Chandler's cell

LARGO — A telephone hookup between a Pinellas County courtroom and Oba Chandler's prison cell will be set up in case it is needed during a hearing on Friday.

Chandler has previously said he did not wish to attend the Friday hearing, in which his attorney is scheduled to make a legal argument against Chandler's scheduled Nov. 15 execution. But "Mr. Chandler would like to appear by telephone," according a document his attorney entered into court records this week.

Chandler and his attorney, Baya Harrison III, are scheduled on Friday to argue against the execution. They have filed a motion that contends Chandler's constitutional rights were violated because some of the findings by a judge should have been made by a jury instead.

However the state Attorney General's office says in a response that Chandler's motion is untimely, "procedurally barred, facially insufficient and unauthorized" under the rules of criminal procedure.

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed Chandler's death warrant. A jury found Chandler guilty in the 1989 murders of Joan Rogers and her teenage daughters, Michelle and Christe, of Ohio. He lured them to his boat, bound and gagged them, likely sexually assaulted them, tied concrete blocks to their necks and tossed their bodies into Tampa Bay.

Phone hookup to link courtroom to Oba Chandler's cell 10/19/11 [Last modified: Thursday, October 20, 2011 12:31am]

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