Oba Chandler's death warrant has been signed. Photo: Florida Department of Corrections
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has signed a death warrant for Oba Chandler for a trio of murders that goes back 22 years.
In 1989, Joan “Jo” Rogers, 36, and her teen daughters Michelle, 17, and Christe, 14, were traveling from their Ohio dairy farm to Disney World when they encountered Chandler at a Days Inn in Tampa, Florida, where they had stopped for directions. Chandler eventually managed to lure the trio onto his boat, where he proceeded to rape them, and tied cinder blocks around their necks before dumping them into Tampa Bay. Their bodies were found three days later.
It would take police three years to connect Chandler to the murders, and he was convicted in 1994 and received the death sentence. During the trial, it was revealed that he had raped another woman on his boat just two weeks before murdering the Rogers.
Chandler maintained his innocence, calling the murder charges “ridiculous.”
But now Chandler has be scheduled to be executed November 15 after Scott signed the warrant on Monday, according to the St. Petersburg Times.
Chief Assistant State Attorney Bruce Bartlett, the lead prosecutor in the Chandler case, told the paper, “The guy is an animal. If anybody has forfeited his right to live, it’s certainly this guy.”
The Rogers were survived by Jo’s husband and the girls’ father, Hal Rogers, who had not made the trip to Florida due to work left to be done on the farm. Bartlett said that he hopes the execution of Chandler will “create some closure” for Hal Rogers, but added, “He’ll never be right again. Nothing will ever, ever change that.”
Florida’s most recent execution was of Manuel Valle on September 28. Valle had been convicted of shooting and killing a police officer in 1978.
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