Lawyers for Dana Chandler have argued that the Shawnee County District Attorney’s Office should be barred from dealing with her retrial in a 2002 double homicide, claiming in a Tuesday filing that prosecutors violated her right to a trial fair.
Chandler was originally convicted in 2012 for the murders of Mike Sisco and Karen Harkness, but the Kansas Supreme Court overturned that finding in 2017 and ordered a new trial due to misconduct by prosecutor Jacqie Spradling.
Spradling, who worked as a prosecutor in Allen and Bourbon counties, has since stepped down from her posts in those offices and is awaiting potential disciplinary action from the Kansas Supreme Court after a panel recommended that she be struck from the bar for his actions in Chandler’s trial and a second Case.
In a motion, attorneys for Chandler argue that current district attorney Mike Kagay backed Spradling in a motion to the Kansas Supreme Court, jeopardizing the objectivity of his office.
“Whether his support is based on his honest but horribly misinformed belief that Spradling did nothing wrong or an attempt to clear his conduct in order to uphold the conviction because he believed that was the correct verdict,” he said. declared the motion. “By continuing to claim that Spradling did nothing wrong, the SNCO DA failed to respect its responsibility to protect the fundamental constitutional right to a fair trial for every person accused in the criminal justice system.”
The motion also argued that the district attorney’s office had not shared documents with Chandler, including recordings of Chandler’s 2012 trial from the CBS “48 Hours” program, as well as documents from the FBI and Kansas. Bureau of Investigation related to his case. . Prosecutors have argued that they are not obligated to hand over these documents.
And Chandler’s defense has said it expects Assistant Deputy Minister Charles Kitt to be a key witness to Spradling’s misconduct. The motion argued that Kitt would witness false testimony allegedly given by a Topeka Police Department detective in 2012 indicating the existence of an abuse protection order obtained against Chandler by Sisco, her ex-husband.
No PFA order was found and it was the cornerstone of the misconduct case against Spradling.
Chandler’s attorneys say the ruling would not be unprecedented, highlighting a case in Arizona in which that state’s Supreme Court removed an entire attorney general’s office from a case due to attorney misconduct, claiming that this has tainted the public’s perception for a fair trial. .
Kagay did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Hearings in the Chandler case are expected to continue until the end of the year. Shawnee County District Court Judge Cheryl Rios has scheduled the retrial to begin on March 7, 2022.