Twice sentenced for double murder, Nebraska death row inmate dies

Cause of Arthur Lee Gales’ death not yet determined, officials say
(Gray News, file)
Published: Apr. 5, 2021 at 3:21 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A convicted killer sentenced to death a second time in 2003 for the murders of two children in Douglas County died at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution over the weekend.

Arthur Lee Gales, 55, of Omaha died Saturday, according to a Monday release from the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services.

Gales had been undergoing treatment for some sort of medical condition while in prison, but the specific cause of death was not yet known, the release states.

A grand jury will investigate the matter, in accordance with policy on in-custody deaths.

In November 2000, Gales was convicted of two counts of first-degree murder for the strangulation deaths of 13-year-old Latara Chandler and seven-year-old Tramar Chandler. Latara also had been raped.

He also was convicted for the brutal beating of the children’s mother, 36-year-old Judy Chandler.

When police connected Gales to the crimes, he was in jail on charges connected to the armed robbery of a storage facility that occurred a month before the murders.

Already on death row, Gales was re-sentenced by a three-judge panel in 2003 after a U.S. Supreme Court decision the previous year called into question the legality of a death sentence handed down by a judge.

6 News Investigative Reporter Brian Mastre and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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