Cody Gabrel Appointed Public Defender in Murder Case

(FRENCH LICK) – A French Lick man accused of murdering 66-year-old James Bryson appeared in court on Tuesday.

Cody Gabrel

Cody Gabrel, 24, is being held without bond after Orange County Circuit Court Judge Steve Owen said the evidence against Gabrel was convincing.

A not guilty plea was entered on Gabrel’s behalf. Nicholas Siler was appointed as his public defender.

Gabrel is facing charges of murder, felony murder and burglary charges in the death of James Bryson.

A pretrial conference is scheduled for November 18 at 9 a.m. A jury trial is scheduled for March 17, 2020. 

On Friday, Indiana State Police Detective Shane Staggs submitted charges to the Orange County Prosecutors Office in relation to a murder investigation that began on December 27, 2016. 

A warrant was issued Monday for Gabrel’s arrest.

James Bryson

According to Indiana State Police, on December 27, 2016, James Bryson was found dead inside his sister’s home at 11387 West County Road 50 South French Lick after a request for a welfare check.

Bryson was staying with his sister who was out of town visiting family for the Christmas holiday.

French Lick Police officers went to the home and found all the doors and windows locked and no signs of forced entry. After numerous attempts to make contact with anyone inside, officers forced their way in the house and found Bryson’s body.

A cause of death has not been released.

The investigation is currently ongoing and anyone with any information is asked to contact Detective Shane Staggs at 812-482-1441.