LAWRENCE CO. – The jury trial of Bryan Lyons scheduled to begin December 6, 2021, has been canceled by Superior Court I Judge John Plummer III.
Judge Plummer issued a stay of proceedings on September 21.
The stay of proceeding came after Lawrence County Prosecutor Samuel Arp filed a Certify Order for Interlocutory Appeal in the case. A stay halts further legal process in a trial. Arp is challenging a non-final trial court order that decides an issue but does not result in a final judgment.
During a hearing held on August 12, 2021, Judge Plummer III heard evidence from Chief Deputy Prosecutor Allison Chopra, Deputy Prosecutor Lisa Kempf, and Deputy Prosecutor Ryne Koucouthakis. Chief Defense Attorney David Shircliff represented Lyons.
The hearing was to decide if Indiana State Trooper Sgt. Dan Gress may have changed some evidence in the case. The issue stems from polygraph results from a test administered to Lyons by ISP Sgt. Gress.
Gress is being accused of changing evidence three days prior to a scheduled jury trial in July 2021.
According to court testimony, Sgt. Gress added a set of notes in his handwriting that specified the exam was now non-stipulated. The results were previously allowed as evidence because the exam was stipulated.
Gress said Lyons mentioned seeing “black shadows” that were not actually there, bringing his mental stability into question.
Judge Plummer ruled that if Lyons was not of sound mind, the exam should have never happened or have been presented to the court as evidence.
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 Lawrence Superior Court I probable cause affidavit, the grandmother told police she asked the child if someone had touched her and she responded by saying Lyons did. The woman said she learned this on June 13, 2017.
On June 15, 2017, police interviewed the girl. She told investigators Lyons touched her and that he was not wearing clothes. She told police the event was “awful.”
On June 22, 2017, police interviewed Lyons. He told police he was applying cream to the girl’s vaginal area when he became aroused. The affidavit stated he told police it happened on June 9 or 10, 2017.
Lyons was arrested and remained in jail until July of this year when Judge Plummer ordered his release.