Flood of motions in Chandler trial to end in late June

Dana Chandler (WIBW)
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Prosecutors wanted a judge to call a halt to filing court motions on Friday, noting Dana Lynn Chandler files an average of five motions a week in her double-murder retrial defense.

"I can't imagine" what else Chandler would file motions on, Senior District Court Judge Robert Fairchild said.

The more motions you file, the more motions the prosecution must respond to, and the more decisions the judge must rule on, Fairchild said.

Chief Deputy District Attorney Dan Dunbar said the case has had over 500 filings. Dunbar noted the trial has been rescheduled several times, and the district attorney's office is issuing witness subpoenas for the fourth time.

Fairchild scheduled the deadline for Chandler and prosecutors to file motions as of June 28.

"If we don't get the pedal to the metal, there's no way we're going to get to that September (16) date," the judge said, referring to start-up date of the four-week retrial.

Earlier on Friday, the judge granted two motions.

One was a Chandler motion filed on May 20 asking Fairchild to remove KiAnn Caprice as standby counsel and to appoint a replacement standby counsel. The other motion was filed by Caprice seeking to withdraw as standby counsel.

Caprice, who was the third standby counsel assigned to aid Chandler, was appointed standby on Aug. 14, 2018.

Fairchild will appoint a replacement standby counsel to aid Chandler. After Caprice ceased being a standby counsel, Chandler twice noted she needed help from a standby.

A Shawnee County jury convicted Chandler of two counts of murder in March 2012, nearly 10 years after Mike Sisco, Chandler's former husband, and Karen Harkness were shot to death in Harkness' southwest Topeka home.

Chandler was sentenced to two 50-year prison terms, a consecutive sentence of 100 years.

On April 6, 2018, the Kansas Supreme Court overturned Chandler's convictions of two counts of first-degree murder.

On Friday, Chandler and prosecutors verbally sparred on whether the district attorney's office has provided the evidence the defense is supposed to receive.

Chandler has complained about not receiving all the discovery she is due.

Chief of Staff Charles Kitt said the defense received all the discovery in Chandler's first jury trial and again after the Kansas Supreme Court remanded the case to Shawnee County for a second trial.

In case preparation, the defense has had access to discovery for days at a time, Kitt said.

Chandler has complained that she hadn't been supplied with GPS records that would show she was driving in Colorado when Sisco and Harkness were killed, Kitt said. But she has acknowledged her cell phone in 2002 didn't have GPS capability, Kitt said.