Prosecutor seeks 3rd trial for Kansas woman in 2 killings

Posted at 8:52 AM, September 28, 2022 and last updated 9:04 PM, July 13, 2023

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — A Kansas prosecutor has indicated that he intends to try a woman for the third time in the killings of her ex-husband and his girlfriend two decades ago.

Dana Chandler is accused of killing 47-year-old Mike Sisco and his fiancée, 53-year-old Karen Harkness, in 2002 in Topeka.

In this image from video Dana Chandler awaits the jury verdict in her retrial at the Shawnee County District Court in Topeka, Kan. on Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022. A Kansas jury announced Thursday that it could not reach a verdict in the trial of Dana Chandler accused of killing her ex-husband and his girlfriend 20 years ago. (Story Syndicate via AP, Pool)

Chandler’s second trial on two counts of first-degree murder ended in a hung jury last month.

RELATED: Woman’s trial for 2 Kansas deaths ends with hung jury

Chandler, who has always maintained she was in Colorado when the murders occurred, was convicted in her first trial in 2012, but the Kansas Supreme Court overturned that conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct.

In a court filing last week responding to a defense motion seeking an acquittal, Shawnee County Deputy District Attorney Charles Kitt indicated prosecutors will try Chandler again, The Topeka Capital Journal reported.

Prosecutors contend that Chandler shot the victims because she was bitter and upset by her divorce from Sisco. They acknowledged they had little physical evidence tying her to the killings but said the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming.

Chandler’s attorneys argued that police did not investigate other potential suspects and conducted a sloppy investigation.