Defense Attorney Bruce Andis Requests Mistrial in Rape Case
LAWRENCE COUNTY - (January 13, 2022) - In the third day of a jury trial with Tracy Gist accused of rape, defense attorney Bruce Andis requested a mistrial. His request granted by Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III this morning.
Chief Public Defender Bruce Andis
According to court documents Defense Counsel Andis testified, outside the presence of the jury, that he violated the Rules of Professional Responsibility telling the court he failed to provide effective representation to the defendant Tracy Gist.
According to Andis he failed to take any dispositions in the case. Andis was provided information months ago that there are individuals who were witnesses to the events on the night in question, and Andis failed to investigate or attempt to interview those witnesses.
Andis who serves as the Chief Public Defender of Lawrence County failed to make himself available to speak to the defendant in the days and weeks leading up to the trial to address Gist's concerns about witnesses and other matters that may have been relevant to his defense.
In addition, Andis failed to file a witness and exhibit list, which along with sworn testimony indicated that the defense counsel failed to recognize that there were witnesses that may have been favorable to Gist's defense and were not going to be called to the stand during the trial.
Andis testified to the court that failed to zealously represent Gist as required by Rules of Professional Responsibility.
Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge declares mistrial this morning in the Gist trial
According to court order issued by Judge John Plummer III due to the deficient performance Andis violated the Sixth Amendment as well as provisions of the Indiana Constitution guaranteeing Gist to have effective representation of counsel at all critical stages of the proceedings.
Andis has withdrawn as defense counsel, and a special public defender shall be appointed to represent the Gist.
A pre-trial conference has been ordered for February 2, 2022.
In January 2020, Tracy Gist 34, Bedford was arrested after being accused of rape that happened on the early morning hours of December 8, 2019. At 1:55 a.m. Bedford Police responded to Shorty' Den 1300 block of 7th Street after a report of a sexual assault.
When police arrived, they found Gist in the parking lot. He told police he didn't initially believe anything happened but maybe something did because the victim's friend called police.
The victim was intoxicated told police she was unsure what happened and did not know what to do. On December 17th the woman went to Bedford Police who decided to file charges.