DETROIT - The shooting death of Dynasty Myles, whose body was found in an abandoned house week after she disappeared from a Dearborn restaurant on New Year's Day 2013, remains a mystery.
Even though a convicted drug dealer suspected in Myles' death has never been charged in her case, federal officials want to add decades to his sentence because they're convinced he knows the secret behind the mysterious kidnapping and slaying.
Theodore Chandler is facing prison for a drug conviction, but prosecutors want him to do an extra 20 years behind bars because they think he's a killer.
Surveillance video from 2013 shows Myles, 23, on the last day she was seen alive. She went to the Benihana restaurant in Dearborn to pick up food on New Year's Day while her mother watched her 6-year-old daughter.
Police said Myles got into a suspicious silver Durango at the Benihana and was never seen alive again.
A month later, her body was discovered in an abandoned home in Detroit. Police said she had been shot in the head, and a city worker found her covered in blood.
Chandler is the founder of Brikk Entertainment. Federal officials think he killed Myles after learning she had set him up to be robbed.
According to court records, the company was a front for Chandler to promote and sell drugs.
The Drug Enforcement Administration busted Chandler and he pleaded guilty, thinking he would serve a short time and get out. But the U.S. attorney's office threw him a curve ball, saying it wants him to serve 40 years behind bars for Myles' murder.
"It's a chilling effect on justice anytime a person can be charged -- not charged with an offense, never arrested -- and still go to prison for the rest of his life," said Alvin Keel, Chandler's attorney. "That's a chilling effect upon justice and our justice system."
Keel told the judge there's no real evidence that Chandler killed Myles. He insisted a maximum sentence of six years behind bars for the drug conviction is fair.
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.
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.
Legal expert Keith Corbett said a judge has the right to hold it against Chandler if there is enough proof that he is likely the killer.
"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.
A hearing was held to find out Chandler's fate. It was a difficult decision, but the judge ultimately said there isn't enough proof.
"They were not even successful in finding that Mr. Chandler would be guilty under the low standard of preponderance of evidence," Keel said.
Prosecutors now could only ask for sentencing on the drug charge. They said the defense request of six years wouldn't do. They wanted the maximum 40 years.
"What the government was doing today was basically just a rouse," Keel said. "In fact, the government, by asking for enhancements on every guideline you can, they were trying to get the same sentence as if they had won the motion and that Mr. Chandler (had been found) guilty of the motion."
The judge listened to both sides and agreed with neither, instead pointing out that Chandler was a dangerous international drug dealer who needed to be sent a message. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison.
When asked why they haven't charged Chandler with Myles' slaying, prosecutors said it's the job of the Detroit Police Department to pursue evidence and present a case.
For now, Myles' case remains unsolved.
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