Oba Chandler's Supreme Court Arguments Canceled; 12 Days Until Scheduled Execution

Arguments before the Florida Supreme Court in the appeal of triple murderer Oba Chandler's death sentence that were scheduled for Wednesday have been canceled, according to a filing from the clerk's office released just minutes ago.

Neither a spokeswoman for the clerk's office nor Chadler's court-appointed lawyer, Baya Harrison III, know whether the court will reschedule the arguments, but Harrison tells the Pulp, "It doesn't look good for me."

Chandler, 65, is scheduled to be executed on November 15.

Harrison says he just learned of the cancellation and has also been informed that prosecutors have entered written arguments in response to his appeal, leading him to believe the court may issue an opinion that won't exactly be in Chandler's favor.

As we spoke with Harrison, he said he was just pulling into the state prison and is going to begin preparing another appeal of Chandler's death sentence in federal court.

His death sentence has already been upheld by the Florida Supreme Court twice, according to the Florida Commission on Capital Cases.

Since his conviction, Chandler has lost eight appeals in various courts.

Chandler is the second recipient of a death warrant under Gov. Rick Scott's governorship and has been hanging out on death row for the past 17 years.

Chandler was convicted of killing Joan Rogers and her two daughters, Michelle and Christe, more than 22 years ago.

Rogers and her two daughters were on vacation in Tampa from Ohio and checked into their hotel on June 1, 1989.

After a week of noticing that the family hadn't been in the hotel room, housekeeping staff called the cops. Police found Rogers' car abandoned near the Courtney Campbell Causeway, with a brochure inside containing directions written by Chandler.

The cops found all three of the women on June 4 -- naked from the waist down, arms and legs bound, with a cinder block tied by a rope around their necks.

Autopsy results showed the women died either from asphyxiation from the ropes around their necks or from drowning, and police said Chandler sexually assaulted Rogers.

After police made a connection between the murders and another rape in the area -- which was printed in local news reports -- Chandler left the area.

He lived with his family for the next few years -- including some time spent in Broward County -- before finally being arrested and charged in September 1992.

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley