• Bill Raines

Indiana Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge Plummer

LAWRENCE COUNTY - JUNE 9, 2022 - The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled in favor of Lawrence County Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III in the Bryan Lyons hearing that was held on August 12, 2021.


Indiana State Court of Appeals Ruled in favor of Judge John Plummer III in his ruling in regard to the Bryan Lyons hearing last August 2021


In addition, a hearing in the case will be heard on June 15, 2022, at 1:00 p.m. on a motion by Defense Attorney David Shircliff for a Special Prosecutor be appointed to the case.


This comes after on May 11, 2022, Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling by Judge Plummer who ruled in favor of Defense Attorney Shircliff continuance for the trial to proceed.


The Indiana Court of Appeals also ruled that the polygraph test administered by Indiana State Trooper Dan Gress was inadmissible in court, because it was unreliable, and the prosecutors failed to disclose favorable evidence to the defense.


In the ruling by Indiana State Court of Appeals states that the State puts great emphasis on the distinction between the polygraph test and Lyon post polygraph statements. The State argued in part that, because Lyon's post polygraph separately admissible, the trial court abused its discretion in excluding them.


The ruling states that the post polygraph statement was not excluded simply because the trial court found them to be inadmissible, but rather because the state's discovery violation.


By Lawrence County Trial rules, the State was obligated to disclose any material or information within its possession or control to help the defense and reduce the punishment. The Indiana Trial rules provides the courts a mechanism to ensure compliance with the trial rules and obedience to its orders.


Lyons Jury Trial Comes to A Halt


On July 19, 2021, the first day of the trial Lyons filed a motion to continue because the State's failure to disclose the that the polygraph was non-stipulated until a few days before the trial.


The trial was set to resume on December 6, 2021, however it was postponed by Judge Plummer who issued a stay of proceedings on September 21, 2021.


Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II Files for Interlocutory Appeal


This came after Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp II filed a Certified Order of Interlocutory Appeal in the case. A stay halts further legal process in a trial. Arp challenged the non-final order, however, does not result in a final judgment.


August 12th Hearing Revisited


During the hearing on August 12, 2021, Judge Plummer heard evidence from Chief Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra, Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Kempf, and Deputy Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis. Chief Defense Attorney David Shircliff represented Bryan Lyons.


The hearing was to determine if Indiana State Trooper Sgt. Dan Gress may have changed evidence in the case. The issued stemmed from polygraph results from a test administered by Indiana State Tropper Sgt. Gress.


In court testimony Sgt. Gress added a set of notes in his handwriting that specified the exam was now a non-stipulated test. The results were previously allowed as evidence because the exam was stipulated.


Gress said Lyons mentioned seeing " dark shadows" that were not actually there, bringing his mental stability into question.


In his ruling Judge John Plummer III ruled that if Lyons was not of sound mind the exam should never have happened or have been presented as evidence. And ruled in favor of the defense for a continuance for the trial.


Bryan Lyons was arrested in 2017 and remained in the Lawrence County Jail awaiting trial he was finally released in July 2021 after the Lawrence County Prosecutors withheld evidence from the defense


Lyons Arrested in June 2017 Remained in Jail for Over Four Years


Lyons was arrested after an investigation began on June 14, 2017, when Indiana University Health Bedford Hospital staff reported to police, they were treating a 5-year-old girl for possible sexual abuse. According to a probable cause affidavit the grandmother told police she asked the child if someone touched her, and she responded by saying Lyons did.


The grandmother learned this on June 13, 2017, and police interviewed the girl. The victim told investigators Lyons touched her and that he was not wearing clothes. She told police the event was "awful".


On June 22, 2017, Lyons told police he was applying cream to the girl's vagina area when he became aroused. The affidavit stated he told police it happened on June 9th or 10th, 2021.


Lyons was arrested on the charge and remained in jail for over four years until July of 2021 when Judge Plummer ordered his release.


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