Defense Attorney explains possible next steps for Chandler case

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) – With a hung jury prosecutors are weighing what’s next for Dana Chandler…

13 News spoke with a local defense attorney for some perspective on the options.

Six days of deliberations ended yesterday with the jury split seven to five on the murder charges against Chandler for the 2002 deaths of her ex husband Mike Sisco and his fiancé Karen Harkness.

Chandler’s first conviction was overturned for prosecutorial misconduct.

Defense Attorney, Dustin Curry, from Joseph, Hollander, and Craft told 13 News the charges remain in place, so the District Attorney must decide whether to retry the case before a new jury, or dismiss it.

“I’m sure the DA will step back reassess the trial, talk to the family and make a determination whether or not they want to retry the case, spend the resources and the time to try to do that. If they decide that they’re going to move forward with a retrial then they will set it put it on the calendar and proceed like they have in the past. If after doing all those things they make a decision that they’re not going to retry the case then they’ll dismiss it at her next court date,” says Curry.

Curry also says it’s possible the DA could approach the defense council with proposal for Chandler to plea to lesser charges with agreement on a sentence recommendation.

He says the retrial result means the state had a hard time convincing the jury that Chandler was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

“If it had been one or two jurors that were hold outs that’s certainly something you consider but when you’re looking at half the jurors unconvinced that the state has proven their case then it’s certainly something that both the defense council and the DA’s office, I would think have to consider pretty heavily, he says.

He says the defense may have the upper hand.

“These cases don’t get better with time and you’ve got a split jury so I think in that respect the defense feels like they may have got an upper hand at this point, but again it could go either way. I think it’s going to be up to the DA’s assessment of the case, they have lived through it for a long time and they are very familiar with the evidence and maybe learned some things during this trial that they could do differently and try it again for a third time, but again I’m assuming that they will get a lot of input from the family to see how they want to proceed,” Curry says.

Curry says if the case is dismissed then Chandler’s bond no longer applies and she would be released from custody.

A status hearing to discuss what’s next is set for September 29th.

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