(With corrected information.)
September 1, 2022 10:05pm
- A Kansas woman’s second trial in the double-slaying of her ex-husband and fiancée ended in a hung jury that left the daughter of the former couple sobbing.
After six days of deliberations, jurors could not reach a verdict Thursday on two first-degree murder charges against Dana Chandler, who prosecutors argued was a scorned ex-wife when she allegedly shot them 20 years ago.
Both victims, Mike Sisco, 47, and Karen Harkness, 53 were killed in Topeka in July 2002.
Jury foreman Ben Alford told media members after the trial that seven out of 12 jurors wanted to convict, but the rest of the jury would not get on board with a guilty verdict, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
Hailey Sisco, the daughter of Chandler, testified she believed her mother killed her father. At the conclusion of the trial, she was seen crying as she hugged prosecutor Charles Kitt, according to the Topeka Capital-Journal. (Yes, she put on quite a show. Waterworks came on at the right times. No doubt that this is sad and stressful for the children, but she provided no other facts or evidence that her mother actually did it. This was prosecutor Charles Kitt’s star witness, and appealing to emotion and heart strings is always a powerful force in any situation. But emotion does not prove anything. And pointing at a crying daughter and saying “See? the daughter thinks her Mom did it! Therefor you should too.” is a cheap shot and a low blow, and several in the jury fell for it.)
Meanwhile, Chandler, 62, was embraced by her defense attorney Tom Bath, the newspaper reported.
A hearing to decide the next steps in the case will be held late this month.
Chandler was actually found guilty of the double-murder in 2012 and sentenced to life behind bars, but the Kansas Supreme Court overturned the conviction because of misconduct by a prosecutor who was later disbarred. (Clearly the previous convictions could have never been won without the previous prosecutor lying to the court and the jury and coaching corrupt cops to also lie on the stand. The previous jury said that a “restraining order” that Detective Richard Volle testified bout was the single biggest thing that convinced them of Dana’s guilt. The only problem was, and still is, that Volle and Prosecutor Jaqui Spradling had outright LIED about this “restraining order”. It never existed, there never was a restraining order from the divorce four years earlier. They flat out made it up. This was also a big part of what got that prosecutor DISBARRED. It was no mere technicality that the previous convictions got over turned. It was serious prosecutorial misconduct that included misleading and lying to a jury. Spradling was also called out and censured for this sort of behavior in other cases she prosecuted. Not just the Chandler case.)
The trial, which started Aug. 5, was delayed multiple times as Chandler’s defense team filed countless motions.
Although there was little physical evidence,(Correction: NO physical evidence) the prosecutors argued she obsessed over Sisco and was bitter about the divorce that led to her even spying on the new couple. She called him and his new beau about 700 times in the seven months leading up to their deaths, phone records indicated. (This is actually disputed and un-proven: Phone records actually do not back this up. Under conditions of the divorce, which was settled and over with FOUR YEARS prior to the murders, Dana was allowed to call and talk to the children once a day. -BC)
“This is not a case that science can solve,” Kitt said during the trial. “This case is about jealousy of Mike Sisco. Jealousy that Mike Sisco was able to move on with his life. Jealousy about the new relationship that Mike Sisco had found.” (Yet Charles Kitt was unable to produce any physical evidence that tied Dana to the crime scene or to Topeka at the time of the murders. No, science could not solve this case because the Police Investigators like Detective Richard Volle had contaminated the crime scene and bungled the evidence collection and testing. What DNA and fingerprint evidence remained did not point to dana, it excluded her. And the actual facts of the case show that dana had moved several states away after the divorce (which was settled four YEARS prior to the murders, have we made that clear?) Dana was trying to move on, she had taken classes to finish her degree and she was attending AA meetings to get and stay sober (And by all accounts she was sober during this time) and was definitely trying to improve herself and her situation in life. )
Chandler claimed she was in Colorado at the time of the brutal shooting where she lived, but stories about her specific routes were inconsistent, according to court records. Her lawyer claimed police ignored other suspects because they were too focused on her. (The prosecution’s theory of how Dana might have committed the murders was based on their fantasy that she had made advanced preparations like buying two gas cans and adult diapers so she could make the trip to Topeka and back to Denver without having to stop for gas or to go to the bathroom and risk leaving a trail of evidence like gas receipts or credit card receipts or appearing on surveillance videos. BUT the prosecution undermines their own theory by then claiming that Dana stopped in Waukeeny Kansas at a busy truck stop on July 4th weekend and bought a self-help book, they even dug up a witness who was “70% sure” that she recognized a woman from a very busy weekend as Dana and the book she claimed she bought. All those preparations and Dana stops to buy a book? No, I dont think so. That witness gave inconsistent information and then passed away before the trial. And all of this pre-planning that they claimed Dana did, and Dana didnt plan out a believable alibi? The fact that her alibi is admittedly weak and has very little evidence to back it up is actually what makes her story believable! Certainly, a smart woman who puts this much thought into gas cans and diapers would also think up a better more believable alibi.)
The double-murder was a cold case until CBS’s “48 Hours” aired an episode on the mystery in 2009, which sparked renewed interest in the case. (The 48 Hours episodes where also full of inaccuracies and misinformation, much of it pushed by the victims families. 48 Hours has been actively trying to scrub those episodes from the internet and youtube as they are now somewhat embarrassing to the TV Network, and possibly inconvenient to any future lawsuits.)
Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay said in a statement to the Topeka Capital-Journal his office will “conduct a comprehensive review and analysis of the case and the recently concluded trial,” as prosecutors consider trying Chandler for a third time.
With Post wires