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Posted on Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 5:59 a.m.

Police: DNA links Ypsilanti Township man to brutal 2009 rape

By John Counts


Anthony Derrick Chandler

Courtesy of WCSO

In the spring of 2009, police dispatched to South Harris Street in Ypsilanti Township saw a woman covered in blood emerging from a wooded area near the railroad tracks.

The Ypsilanti Township woman, now 43, told police a stranger armed with a handgun and a knife had assaulted and raped her on a mattress in the nearby woods.

More than three years later, thanks to DNA technology and other investigative methods, police believe they’ve caught the culprit, said Sgt. Geoff Fox of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office.

Anthony Derrick Chandler, the 40-year-old Ypsilanti Township man accused in the violent attack, appeared in Washtenaw Circuit Court on charges related to the crime for the first time Monday. The pretrial hearing was adjourned because the prosecutor could not be there and rescheduled for Oct. 29 before Judge Melinda Morris in the Washtenaw County Trial Court.

Police gave a detailed account of the attack for the first time Monday.

On March 29, 2009 deputies from the sheriff’s office were dispatched to the 80 block of South Harris after receiving a report that a woman was running away from a man. Officers did not initially see anything after they arrived.

“As they continued to check the area ... at the dead end by the railroad tracks, they heard a faint yell for help,” Fox said. “(The deputies) then observed a female stumble out of a wooded area towards their patrol car. The female was bleeding badly from her hand.”

The woman told police an unknown man had assaulted and raped her, police said. She said she was walking down South Harris near where it dead ends at the railroad tracks when a man approached her, grabbed her by the hair and dragged her into the woods despite her efforts to fight back, Fox said.

“The suspect then forced her down face-first onto an old mattress that was on the ground as she continued to struggle,” Fox said.

The woman continued struggling as the man raped her, police said. He took a knife and attempted to slash her throat, but she was able to get her hand up to block it, Fox said. The knife cut her hand, damaging all the tendons.

The woman also said the man choked her several times during the incident, which caused her to start blacking out. Meanwhile, the man told her he was going to kill her, police said.

The suspect fled after seeing the patrol car lights. Deputies were unable to locate anyone that night. Fox said over the course of three years, however, police were able to link Chandler’s DNA to numerous items taken from the crime scene and sent to a Michigan State Police lab for analysis, which can be a very lengthy process.

As a convicted felon, Chandler’s DNA sample is on file with the state. He was sentenced to 2-5 years in prison in 1990 on two counts of vehicle theft, according to state prison records on the Offender Tracking Information System. While serving time in the Ionia Correctional Facility, he was convicted of possessing a weapon, which increased his sentence. He was released from prison in June 2005. Chandler then served another prison term from January 2010 to January 2012 for carrying a concealed weapon.

A warrant for Chandler's arrest was issued on July 10. Chandler was picked up on a minor traffic stop in Ypsilanti Township Aug. 2. He was arrested without incident and charged with first-degree CSC, assault with intent to murder, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm and assault with a dangerous weapon, according to court records.

On Oct. 2, Chandler waived a preliminary examination in district court and pleaded not guilty to all four counts. He remains held in the Washtenaw County Jail on a $150,000 cash or surety bond.

Editor's note: Three years has elapsed since the alleged incident, not four years as previously reported.

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John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.



Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 4:27 a.m.

Hey All yins Ann Arbor Libs: If Not Guilty, let him go. If Guilty, then Life in Prison. As Scots Lord Justice of Scotland Braxfield said: "Hang a rapist when he's young, and he'll no rape a lass when he's auld." — Robert MacQueen, Lord Braxfield, Lord Justice of Scotland, 1776-1799


Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 10:19 a.m.

What does this have to do with "Libs"?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

I guarantee this (alleged) monster has other convictions outside the handful listed on OTIS.


Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 11:42 p.m.

OTIS does not include all convictions. Don't ask me why.

Basic Bob

Wed, Oct 17, 2012 : 3:36 a.m.

If you stated that he committed other crimes and that he was not apprehended, charged, and sentenced, I could believe it. Why do you believe that other * convictions * are not listed?

William Visel

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:07 p.m.

AS SOON as I finished this article I thought of a new word.. called.. "INSTA-LIFE" = instant life sentence at a bare minimum.

dading dont delete me bro

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

he's been featured in the news before...

music to my ear

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

this woman is lucky to be alive for what she had to endure. she is very strong, I hope what ever Judge he gets if hes found guilty will do right by the victim, plea deal or not.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 5:30 p.m.

On the subject of the time it takes to get DNA processed, let us not forget that a large portion of State Patrol Crime Lab resources have been, and I believe continue to be, consumed by the task of bailing out the city of Detroit from it's horrific crime "lab" fiascos. There were God-only-knows how many tests that had to be redone because of incompetence on the part of Detroit crime lab personnel, and then there were the thousands of tests and other evidence left laying around when that joke of a lab was closed/abandoned. The rest of the state will be paying for that mess, literally and figuratively, for many years.

John Counts

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 4:29 p.m.

Hi A2brooksie. We have been aware of this case for some time, but all we knew were the charges. Police did not wish to release any details until yesterday. We strive to get the news out as quickly as possible, but had we reported on this case with just the charges, it would have felt incomplete. As to the length of the DNA matching process, ahi, it was explained to me that one thing that makes it so long is cross-referencing the DNA from the crime scene with the thousands and thousands of samples on record with the state from offenders.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

This would have been "news" had it been reported in early August when he was arrested, or perhaps even in early October when he was arraigned. Though it may be the first time this person appeared in Circuit Court, he did appear in District court twice previously (when he was arraigned as well when he waived his preliminary exam). Would be nice if devoted more resources to actually reporting "news" as opposed to events that took place two months ago (his arrest and arraignment).


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 3:20 p.m.

Wow, has maybe spent 5 years out of prison since 1990 and he committed this crime. Yet he is pleading not guilty against DNA evidence? Something tells me a plea deal is going to be the outcome. Hopefully he never sees freedom again.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 2:57 p.m.

Why does it take 4 years for dna analysis?

Wolf's Bane

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 6:21 p.m.

The courts system is tied up and backlogged with appeals and any number of felon favored issues. Pure Michigan.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 3:51 p.m.

Well, from a technical standpoint, the actual "DNA test" used for evidentiary purposes takes about a week to go from start to finish, assuming that you're working with a sample in "reasonable" condition. The truth is that it also takes about $1,500 to pay for each analysis. And there's also the issue of the 250,000 to 500,000 rape kits in the US that have never been processed because there's no money to pay for the analyses. It would cost somewhere between $375M and $750M to process all of the existing DNA evidence in the US that's just sitting around in storage rooms. And there's also no money to pay for the tens of thousands of offenders who are now required to provide a DNA sample, and whose samples remain untested and therefore uncatalogued. So in this case, we're lucky that both the victim's DNA evidence and the offender's DNA sample were actually processed, and that it took only four years. Many police departments end up throwing away unprocessed DNA evidence that they've collected (and that could otherwise be used to lock these losers up for life) once the statute of limitations on a crime expires. Not exactly justice, is it?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 2:12 p.m.

NotAValidExcuse, that's exactly what I thought as soon as I saw Morris's name. We can only hope she will be long-gone before the case gets to trial. Otherwise, if there's a conviction, she'll sentence the rapist to community service at a women's shelter and order his record expunged.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 3:37 p.m.

And take him to lunch.

Not a valid excuse for a newspaper

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:22 p.m.

Please, not Judge Melinda Morris for this guy. Please.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Yes, but we still have a good chance of her lowing his $150k bond down to 3 empty pop cans and a handshake.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 1:33 p.m.

Fortunately, it's just the pretrial hearing. The trial itself may actually take place well after she hits the trail. In the mean time, I hope the local police agencies are checking on any other rape kits that might be mouldering on their shelves. From the description of this attack, I would be surprised to find that this was an isolated incident.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:11 p.m.

If this man is convicted of this terrible crime I sincerely hope they throw away the key this time. I cannot imagine what this poor woman has been through over the years. It is just too bad the dan match could not have been done when he went back to prison in 2010.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:12 p.m.


Chase Ingersoll

Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:01 p.m.

How is the victim doing?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:24 p.m.

That's what I was wondering. I hope she has physically been able to heal over the years (the report says all the tendons in her hand were damaged, although doesn't say if that was permanent). If this is indeed the monster that attacked her, perhaps she will finally get justice.


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 11:50 a.m.

Wow.....he's a repeat that redundant? Why oh why does Michigan have such a recidivism problem....?


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

Because we keep letting them out. Over and over and over.....


Tue, Oct 16, 2012 : 12:27 p.m.

It's not just Michigan, it's every single state.I believe that something like 80% of crime is committed by 20% of people