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Triple murderer Oba Chandler may not come to Pinellas hearing on his execution

LARGO — Oba Chandler's lawyer wants to file a motion that might prevent his client's execution, but he's not sure the triple murderer will want to come to court for the hearing.

"He hates coming down to Clearwater. He doesn't like the ride and he's not well," Baya Harrison III said Wednesday, speaking by telephone in court.

After the news that Gov. Rick Scott has signed a death warrant for Chandler and that his execution is scheduled for Nov. 15, attorneys met before Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Philip J, Federico on Wednesday to discuss scheduling matters.

Harrison said that by Monday morning he intends to file a motion concerning Chandler's Fifth and 14th Amendment rights. The state attorney general's office will have until Wednesday to file a response. A hearing has tentatively been scheduled for 1 p.m. Oct. 21.

Federico said that if Chandler chooses not to come to the hearing, he would like for him to either participate by telephone or sign a waiver indicating he does not wish to be present.

Harrison also said he was not sure if Chandler would even agree to filing the motion he is contemplating, but that the two planned to talk this week.

"He doesn't like to come out of his cell," Harrison said. "He doesn't like to be disturbed."

Chandler was found 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.

It was an unsolved case for years, but St. Petersburg police eventually zeroed in on Chandler. He was convicted in 1994 and given the death penalty.

Triple murderer Oba Chandler may not come to Pinellas hearing on his execution 10/12/11 [Last modified: Wednesday, October 12, 2011 9:10pm]
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