Double Murderer Will Serve Two Life Sentences

By: Suzie Gilbert
By: Suzie Gilbert

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- The final chapter in a decade-old double murder case was written Monday in Shawnee County District Court. Chief Judge Nancy Parrish sentenced Dana Lynn Chandler to serve two "hard 50" life sentences, consecutively.

The sentence stems from a trial in March, in which a jury convicted Chandler of two counts of premeditated murder, for the deaths of her ex-husband Mike Sisco, and his fiance, Karen Harkness. The murders happened in the summer of 2002. The victims were found shot a dozen times total, in a bed in Harkness' southwest Topeka home.

The sentencing date fell on what would have been Chandler's 30th wedding anniversary with Sisco. Chandler represented herself at the sentencing, her former counsel, Mark Bennett, having resigned from the case after the trial. The state was represented by District Attorney Chad Taylor, and Assistant DA Jacqie Spradling.

Six family members read victim impact statements at the sentencing hearing, including Sisco's brother, sister, mother and daughter, and Harkness' daughter and son.

In her judgement of Chandler, Parrish candidly spoke on the pain Chandler caused her entire family, saying it was inconceivable that Chandler emotionally abandoned her two children, Hailey and Dustin. Parrish also said Chandler acted smugly, perhaps believing that she'd gotten away with murder in the ten years after the killings, but Parrish said that was not the case.

Chandler was appointed an attorney from the Appellate Defender's office for further court action.

CBS' 48 Hours crew was in Topeka for the sentencing. Producers say their second episode on Chandler is tentatively scheduled for beginning of September, possibly to be the season opener.


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