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Chandler court hearing ends in minutes Tuesday

Dana Chandler (WIBW)
Dana Chandler (WIBW)(WIBW)
Published: Dec. 1, 2020 at 3:25 PM CST
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - A court hearing quickly ended Tuesday when defendant Dana Chandler, who is charged with two shooting deaths in 2002, didn’t waive her right to be present inside the courtroom during her hearing.

Chandler was outside the courtroom during what was to be a hearing via Zoom. The hearing inside court resumes on Wednesday. This time Chandler will be inside the courtroom.

At the time of the hearing, Chandler was requesting that Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios find that two witnesses called by Chandler were material to the case.

A material witness is someone in a criminal prosecution or lawsuit whose testimony is significant enough to impact the outcome of the case or trial, according to the Legal Information Institute of Cornell University.

Due to the importance of material witness testimony, a judge usually makes every reasonable effort to have such a witness made available to testify, according to Cornell University.

Chandler is to appear in court on Wednesday.

Chandler, 60, is charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the double slaying of a couple on July 2, 2002.

Michael Sisco, 47, and Karen Harkness, 53, were fatally shot in Harkness’ southwest Topeka home.

Chandler was charged in 2011, then found guilty during Chandler’s first trial in 2012.

Chandler was sentenced to two consecutive 50-year prison terms.

Chandler remains in Shawnee County Jail in lieu of bond.

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