DETROIT - Dynasty Myles disappeared from a Dearborn restaurant on New Year's Day 2013, and her body was found weeks later in Detroit. Today, her murder remains unsolved.
The U.S. Attorney's Office is asking a federal judge to add decades in prison time to a drug dealer's sentence because officials believe he's the killer.
Myles died a brutal death at the age of 23. The young mother was shot in the head in an abandoned house on Log Cabin Street in Detroit.
Her body was found by a city worker, who said she was half dressed and there was blood everywhere. Myles had last been seen a month earlier on New Year's Day at the Benihana restaurant in Dearborn.
Myles left her 6-year-old daughter at her mother's house before going to pick up food, and surveillance video shows a suspicious silver Durango at the Benihana.
Police said Myles got into the car and was never seen alive again.
Theodore Chandler is a Metro Detroit musician and founder of Brikk Entertainment. Federal officials said the music company was really to promote drug sales and hide drug profits in Detroit.
After a lengthy federal investigation, including DEA wire taps exposing Chandler as a national and international drug dealer, he pleaded guilty to cocaine distribution and laundering money.
The plea deal lessened his time behind bars, but officials threw a curveball at Chandler and told the judge to send him away for the maximum 40 years because they think he killed Myles.
"The government can present evidence that suggests to the court that the defendant may have been involved in a murder," Local 4 legal expert Keith Corbett said. "That's a factor that the court can consider."
Corbett was a federal prosecutor for more than two decades. He said that even though Chandler has never been convicted in Myles' murder, and in fact has never been charged in her death, he can still do decades of additional time if prosecutors can convince a judge he is likely to have killed her.
"The government has a preponderance of the evidence suggesting to the judge that he may have been complicit in this murder, in which case the judge can factor that into the sentence they deem appropriate," Corbett said.
Local 4 legal expert Neil Rockind is a longtime defense attorney who practices in federal court. He said oftentimes prosecutors will try to convince a judge to maximize sentences using crimes unrelated to what the defendant is charged with.
"The government is going to try and use information that will put the sentence up to the higher end," Rockind said.
Prosecutors only have to convince a judge that it is more likely than not that Chandler killed Myles to ask the judge to max out his drug and money laundering sentence. It's a difference of decades behind bars.
Prosecutors said Chandler believed Myles set him up to be robbed and wanted revenge. Cellphone records showed the two talked several times the day she disappeared. Their phones were both used near the Benihana restaurant.
Federal officials said Chandler was in the Durango and Myles got in with him. Their phones were tracked, and both were used near the location where Myles' body was discovered. Federal officials said they gave Chandler a lie detector test, and he failed it.
"It's not admissible in a criminal trial, but in a sentencing hearing, and the government references several cases where the court has considered it because the standard of proof at a sentencing is different, it's a preponderance of evidence," Corbett said.
In court documents, Chandler's attorney said there is no proof Chandler killed Myles. He said the video never definitively shows Chandler at the scene or Myles getting into a Durango. The attorney insisted that the locations of their phones isn't proof of murder, and that polygraph tests are inadmissible in court because they're unreliable.
"Each side is going to use the information that they have, that they think is ultimately going to convince the judge," Rockind said.
Both sides have made their case. Chandler's attorney said he should serve 6 1/2 years, but the U.S. Attorney's Office is asking for the maximum amount allowable for a drug case, which is 40 years.
Judge Nancy Edmunds will decide if the unsolved murder of Myles will be considered in the final sentencing, which is scheduled for Feb. 5.
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