Oba Chandler to pay for Tampa Bay area triple murder with his life

His victims were found floating in Tampa Bay

TAMPA - To three Ohio tourists, Oba Chandler must have seemed like a friendly local, anxious to share the beauty of a Tampa Bay sunset on his sailboat.


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But to police and prosecutors who know what happened next, Chandler is a nightmare in human form.

"They were found nude from the waist down. Their feet were tied together. We believe they were all three raped," said Former St. Pete Police Detective Cindra Leedy, describing the case she worked to solve for over three years.

Joan Rogers and her two teenage daughters Christie and Michelle were thrown into the bay to drown after being assaulted. Chandler is scheduled to die for the three murders on Tuesday only because the ropes that bound Joan, Michelle and Christi to concrete blocks didn't hold.


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"I'm glad there's finally going to be an end to this. He doesn't deserve to live. He just needs to die," said Leedy.

It is nearly certain Chandler will die from lethal injection at 4:00pm November 15. Chandler's lawyer admits they are out of bullets in their appeal and Governor Rick Scott is unlikely to make a dramatic phone call at the last minute to commute the sentence.

"It's rare enough that it makes for nice television and movies but in the real world, it just doesn't happen," said Charles Rose, professor of Law at Stetson University in Gulfport.

Rose doesn't see any way out for Oba Chandler, but he points out that the death penalty is an imperfect policy. DNA tests have proven that innocent people have been condemned to death in Florida. The lengthy appeals are also more costly than life sentences and sometimes more painful for families.

Hal Rogers, the father and husband of the victims is now leading the quiet life of a farmer in rural Ohio. He told ABC Action News that he does not plan to attend the execution.

"Is justice delayed justice denied?  You have a loved one who dies and then its five years, ten years, fifteen years of appeals?  How much has your life changed in that time, and how have you been frozen almost in that moment and not able to move on?  It's a personal question that has to be answered," said Rose.

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