Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Oba Chandler's options dwindling as Florida Supreme Court rejects appeal

The Florida Supreme Court denied the appeal of death row inmate Oba Chandler on Monday, leaving the 65-year-old triple murderer with few options left to avoid his Nov. 15 execution date.

Chandler is set to be put to death for the 1989 murders of Joan "Jo" Rogers, 36, and daughters Michelle, 17, and Christe, 14. Chandler lured the vacationing Ohio family onto his boat, likely sexually assaulted them, then drowned them in the waters of Tampa Bay.

It took investigators three years to track down Chandler. It took 22 years for Chandler to exhaust his state and federal appeals and reach the top of the execution list. Gov. Rick Scott signed Chandler's death warrant on Oct. 10.

A Pinellas-Pasco circuit judge rejected Chandler's final appeal on Oct. 24. His attorneys appealed to the Florida Supreme Court, but the result was the same.

"I'm not completely surprised and certainly somewhat disappointed," said defense attorney Baya Harrison III. "However, we just have to keep trying. As we speak I am preparing two pleadings."

The first is seeking permission from the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta to file an appeal on Chandler's behalf. Since Chandler has already had one federal appeal denied in 2007, he must ask for permission to file another one.

That appeal should be filed by Tuesday, Harrison said. But the attorney conceded it is unlikely that Chandler will be granted another federal appeal.

Harrison hopes the second option has more success: He plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday to overturn Monday's decision by the Florida Supreme Court.

But that's also a long shot, Harrison said. The U.S. Supreme Court denied Chandler's appeals in 1998 and 2007. "When you're down to that," Harrison said. "You're really down to the end."

Jamal Thalji can be reached at or (727) 893-8472.

Oba Chandler's options dwindling as Florida Supreme Court rejects appeal 11/07/11 [Last modified: Monday, November 7, 2011 10:50pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays late-night bullpen shuffle: Alvarado, Pruitt down; Kolarek up


    The Rays shuffled their bullpen again after Tuesday's game, sending down struggling LHP Jose Alvarado along with RHP Austin Pruitt to Triple-A Durham, and turning next to LHP Adam Kolarek, who will make his major-league debut at age 28,

  2. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards


    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 


  3. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say


    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  5. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.