Detective Testifies in Spradling Case
Retired Topeka Police Sgt. Richard Volle testified during the disciplinary hearing of former Shawnee County prosecutor Jacqie Spradling.
TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Retired Topeka Police Sgt. Richard Volle recalled Tuesday that survivors of two slaying victims told police that a court order instructed Dana Lynn Chandler to stay away from her former husband and his fiancee in July 2002.
But on Tuesday, Volle couldn’t pinpoint which relatives of slaying victims Mike Sisco and Karen Harkness had told police that Chandler, former wife of Sisco, was issued a court order to stay clear of Sisco and Harkness.
Volle testified during the disciplinary hearing of former Shawnee County prosecutor Jacqie Spradling.
On Tuesday, the disciplinary administrator’s office completed its case against Spradling. Spradling defense attorney L.J. Leatherman began calling witnesses. The case originally was expected to last five days.
In 2012, Spradling was the Senior Assistant District Attorney prosecuting Chandler, who was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Harkness and Sisco.
Chandler was sentenced to consecutive sentences of 50 years for each murder conviction.
The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the two murder convictions of Chandler on April 6, 2018.
Pre-trial hearings are being conducted in the re-trial, but a date to start the trial hasn’t been scheduled due to the COVID-19 virus.
On Tuesday, Volle testified he didn’t “specifically” recall who in the Sisco or Harkness families told the police detective that Sisco had a protection from abuse order or restraining order filed against Chandler.
Volle said the divorce attorney representing Sisco gave him a copy of the divorce case, but Volle didn’t find a court order in the file, and Volle didn’t go to Douglas County District Court in Lawrence to verify a court order was filed there.
“I was unsuccessful in obtaining it,” Volle said.
The Sisco-Chandler divorce took place in Douglas County.
On Tuesday, Volle testified he thought a five-minute phone call on July 5, 2002, between Sisco and Chandler triggered the shooting deaths of Sisco and Harkness.
Volle testified he had a “theory” that Sisco called Chandler to tell her he was going to marry Harkness.
The majority of the calls to Chandler made to Sisco were very brief calls, Volle testified.
“That’s why that (five-minute) call stood out,” Volle said.
It was a “circumstantial case” based on “motive and opportunity,” Volle said.
An FBI agent aiding in investigating the double murder agreed the five-minute phone call led to the murders of Sisco and Harkness, Volle said.
Members of the Sisco and Harkness families were scheduled to come to Harkness’ west Topeka home on July 7, 2002, and the couple was expected to announce to their parents that the two were to be married, Volle said.
Pamphlets featuring a trip to Jamaica were found at the crime scene, Volle said.
Instead, the parents found the bodies of Sisco and Harkness, who suffered numerous gunshot wounds, according to past testimony in court.
Volle testified two hours and 15 minutes on Tuesday.
Spradling prosecuted the case of Chandler, now 60, who was convicted in 2012 in the shooting deaths of Sisco, 47, and Harkness, 53.
According to the Kansas Disciplinary Administrator, Spradling during the Chandler trial acted improperly, lied to the Kansas Supreme Court, and had broken the Kansas Rules of Professional Conduct.
The Kansas Supreme Court overturned the two murder convictions in 2018.
Chandler remains in Shawnee County Jail in lieu of bond.
The disciplinary hearing is scheduled to last five days.
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