Death row inmate who killed 3 Ohioans claims 'mistrial'

The attorney of Oba Chandler, accused of murdering three Ohioans, says his rights were violated in his first trial. / WNWO archive

An attorney for a condemned Florida inmate who killed an Ohio woman and her two daughters is arguing that a jury should again be given the chance to decide if the man should live or die.

Oba Chandler listened by telephone and said little Friday as his attorney, Baya Harrison III, told a judge that Chandler's rights were violated in his first trial. Harrison argued that the jury and not the trial judge should have been the ultimate decider of whether he got the death penalty.

"Florida has gotten away, it TMs lost its way, in terms of realizing what the meaning of a jury trial means in our democracy," Harrison said.

A lawyer for the Florida Attorney General's Office called the claim baseless. The judge said he expects to rule Monday.

The 65-year-old Chandler was convicted in the 1989 murders of Joan Rogers and her teenage daughters, Michelle and Christe, of Willshire, Ohio. Gov. Rick Scott signed Chandler's death warrant Oct. 10.