Man Accused Of Savagely Beating Woman, Murdering Her Two Children, Dies On Death Row

“I wanted to see Arthur Lee Gales suffer, I really did,” Judy Chandler says of her children’s killer.

Latara Chandler, 13, [left] and her brother, Tramar Chandler, 7, were found murdered in their home in November 2000.

In 2000, Arthur Lee Gales savagely beat Judy Chandler and left her for dead before murdering her two children.

Photo by: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. [images from ID's Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death S2 E6]

Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc. [images from ID's Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death S2 E6]

By: Aaron Rasmussen

A Nebraska man was condemned to death after he brutally murdered two children he feared could potentially serve as witnesses against him for beating their mother.

On the morning of Nov. 12, 2000, Omaha police responding to a 911 call about an injured woman found Judy Chandler, 36, severely injured in the snow and determined an assailant had bashed her head into nearby railroad tracks.

Judy indicated to detectives she knew who was responsible for her beating but was incapable of providing a name before she was placed into a medically induced coma.

When Lt. Catherine Milone and another officer went to Judy’s apartment, they discovered the body of her daughter, Latara Chandler, 13, nude from the waist down in a bedroom. The teenager’s 7-year-old brother, Tramar Chandler, was lying dead in the bathtub.

An autopsy determined Latara had been sexually assaulted and strangled to death, while Tramar was strangled and drowned.

“I was sickened at what I saw and how somebody could do that to the kids,” Milone recalled. “It’s a lot to grasp and a lot to deal with.”

Investigators collected multiple pieces of evidence in the home, including a used condom and a towel near Latara’s body.

Two months after her savage beating, Judy came out of the coma, and all she could think about was her two children and wonder where they were.

“When I first woke up, I was confused, and I was scared,” she said.

Days later, doctors determined Judy was strong enough to learn the tragic fate of her daughter and son.

For months afterward, Judy continued to be unable to identify whoever attacked her because of the severe head trauma she suffered — until one day when she remembered in a flash that she had gone out with someone named Lee the evening of the incident.

Investigators were able to track down the man, Arthur Lee Gales, based on local robberies that matched up with information Judy had provided.

DNA definitively linked Gales to the grieving mother’s beating and her children’s deaths, and police placed him under arrest.

At trial, prosecutors contended Gale beat up Judy while they were on a date and left her for dead. Gales, prosecutors believed, feared Judy’s two children could place him with their mother that evening, so he returned to the family’s apartment and murdered her daughter and son.

On Aug. 27, 2001, a jury found Gales, then 36, guilty of two counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted second-degree murder. A judge sentenced him to death for the children’s slayings.

After 21 years on death row at Tecumseh State Correctional Institution, Gales died of natural causes in April 2022.

“I wanted to see Arthur Lee Gales suffer, I really did,” Judy said of his death. “So, in a way, I feel like I was cheated.”

For more on this case, watch “The Only Witness” on Evil Lives Here: Shadows of Death on May 8 on ID or stream on discovery+.

Next Up

Man Who Strangled Wife In Hot Tub Killed His First Spouse In Bath Four Years Earlier

“I think he’s like a cancer,” says the son of convicted murderer Timothy Boczkowski. “And I do think if he got out, he would kill again.”

Family Claims FBI Botched Investigation Of Indigenous Woman’s Death

“I can't bear any of my tribal members to go through what I went through,” says Ashlea Aldrich’s mother.

Video: Young Mom Denise Amber Lee Kidnapped In Broad Daylight

Kidnapped in broad daylight at home with her children present, she bravely made a 911 call, however a tragic mistake would seal her fate.

From Minister To Murderer: Ohio Father Terrorized His Children, Forced Them To Kill

“There’s no explaining how much hate I’ve got for that man,” Charles Sexton says of his dad, Eddie Lee Sexton.

True Crime News Roundup: Former NFL Player Indicted For Murdering Girlfriend, Prosecutors Say

Plus: Maryland woman allegedly shoots her husband after he’s accused of sexually abusing children; hit-and-run driver kills man who had plans to propose; police determine what happened to slain Rhode Island couple; three school employees indicted in connection with autistic student’s death.

Colorado Mother Fights For Justice After Husband Violated Restraining Order, Killed Their 3 Daughters

Jessica Lenahan said she would have handled the situation differently had she known police wouldn’t enforce the protective order.

True Crime News Roundup: Father Accused Of Killing His 3 Children, Leaving Bodies For Wife To Find

Plus: California man uses Bitcoin to pay hitman to murder his ex; police accuse woman of abandoning baby found frozen to death in 1985; woman who may be victim of alleged D.C. serial killer identified; and Ghislaine Maxwell makes bid for lighter sentence.

Husband Of Missing Mother Who Searched 'How To Get Away With Murder’ Now Charged With Her Murder

55-year-old Elizabeth Capaldi was reported missing on Oct. 12, 2022. Her husband is now accused of strangling and dismembering her.

Accused Rapist & Murderer Fathers Children With Woman & Her Daughter; Now On The Run

Tomas Magallon Gonzalez is described as a master manipulator of people, especially children. He’s accused of sexually assaulting his girlfriend's nine-year-old daughter for years and eventually fathering two children with her before killing her.

True Crime News Roundup: Brittney Griner Transferred To Russian Penal Colony

Plus: Colorado police launch new probe into JonBenet Ramsey case; Woman sentenced to life for murdering woman to steal her baby; California megachurch leader accused of torturing young daughter; and Texas medical examiner murdered at work by her estranged husband.