Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Florida Supreme Court receives Oba Chandler's final appeal

The Florida Supreme Court received the last-ditch appeal of convicted killer Oba Chandler on Tuesday, 21 days before his execution date.

Chandler, 65, is scheduled to die by lethal injection Nov. 15 for the 1989 murders of Ohio mother Joan "Jo" Rogers, 36, and her daughters, Michelle, 17, and Christe, 14.

Last week defense attorney Baya Harrison III appealed Chandler's death sentence in a Pinellas courtroom on the grounds that his client's constitutional rights were violated because some of the findings made by a judge in sentencing him to death should have been made by a jury.

Chandler should get a new penalty phase, Harrison argued, so that a new jury can weigh whether he should be put to death or receive a life sentence.

But Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Phillip Federico denied the defense's motion Monday. Chandler's lawyers quickly appealed to the Florida Supreme Court. The state's highest court already has upheld his death sentence twice, in 1997 and 2003.

Chandler, who was convicted in 1994, has lost every other state and federal appeal over the past two decades. This latest legal argument is his last chance to avoid execution.

If the justices decide to hear arguments in this case, they will do so on Nov. 9 in Tallahassee. If they reject Chandler's appeal, the defense has to ask the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta for permission to appeal to a federal court. If they're granted permission, arguments will be heard in the Middle District of Florida in Tampa.

The Rogers family was visiting Florida when they met Chandler while asking for directions in 1989. He took them out into Tampa Bay on his boat, then restrained them, likely sexually assaulted them, then threw them into the water with masonry blocks tied to their necks.

Gov. Rick Scott signed Chandler's death warrant Oct. 10. Chandler is scheduled to die at 4 p.m. Nov. 15 at Florida State Prison in Starke.

Florida Supreme Court receives Oba Chandler's final appeal 10/25/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, October 25, 2011 12:16pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Families dispute claims that slain Tampa Palms roommates shared neo-Nazi beliefs

    Crime

    TAMPA — Andrew Oneschuk never liked making small talk on the phone, his father said, but the last time the two spoke, something seemed off.

    Andrew Oneschuk and Jeremy Himmelman lived in a Tampa Palms apartment with Devon Arthurs and Brandon Russell. Oneschuk and Himmelman reportedly planned to move out.
  2. Brad Culpepper makes it to final 3 on Survivor, but jury picks Sarah

    The Feed

    UPDATE, WEDNESDAY NIGHT: Tampa's Brad Culpepper make it to the final 3 on Survivor, but jurors chose Sarah as the winner of the $1 million.

    Original report follows:

    "The Tables Have Turned" - Brad Culpepper, Tai Trang and Hali Ford on the fourth episode of SURVIVOR: Game Changers on the CBS Television Network. Photo: Jeffrey Neira/CBS Entertainment
  3. Erasmo Ramirez continues to deliver for Rays

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — Pitching coach Jim Hickey has a saying he uses with the Rays pitchers: "Don't let them hit the ball. Make them hit the ball."

    HUG IT OUT: Souza, back, celebrates his two-run homer with a congratulatory hug from Rays catcher Jesus Sucre.
  4. Tom Jones: Rays made right move sending Blake Snell to minors

    The Heater

    tom jones' two cents

    ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays took their team photo before Wednesday night's game against the Angels. One player who should have been there was not: pitcher Blake Snell.

    Blake Snell’s struggles on the mound were only one of the reasons the Rays sent him to the minors; some other red flags existed. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  5. Florida Republicans react to 'CBO score' of health care bill

    Blogs

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    .

    Actually, there is no reaction, and that speaks volumes. The Senate has already effectively declared the bill dead and is working on its own. Rep. Carlos Curbelo of Miami did not issue a statement voluntarily but issued …