Subscribe for 33¢ / day
LaPorte County Courthouse

The LaPorte County Courthouse in downtown LaPorte is known for its extensive use of decorative wood and stained glass. The Circuit Court courtroom is considered one of the most beautiful courtrooms in Indiana.

Doug Ross, The Times

LAPORTE — A Michigan City murder case plagued by legal challenges and misconduct by investigators will be retried after ending in a hung jury last week.

LaPorte Circuit Court Judge Tom Alevizos declared a mistrial Friday night when jurors could not reach a verdict after deliberating for more than five hours.

David Thomas, a special prosecutor from Vigo County, said he will retry the case and is waiting for the court to set a date for the retrial.

"We’ll see what the schedule will allow," said Thomas, who declined further comment.

Brian Taylor, 24, was accused of fatally shooting his girlfriend, Simone Bush, 24, in March 2014 inside her grandparents' home, in the 600 block of County Line Road on Michigan City’s west side.

The evidence showed Taylor was in the bedroom with Bush when the gun went off, but the defense argued there was no proof who pulled the trigger.

The defense suggested suicide and accidental discharge during a physical struggle were possibilities.

Prosecutors, though, said the autopsy showed the barrel of the gun was pressed against Bush's neck and questioned why Taylor would close the bedroom window, after crawling through it to leave, and not notify anyone or call for help.

Ida Kelley, the victim’s grandmother, hopes the next trial will end with a conviction.

"Justice has not been served," she said.

Kelley said she treated Taylor like "one of my own" after he came up from Indianapolis and spent the night.

Currently, Taylor is serving a four-year prison sentence for criminal recklessness in connection with gunshots fired in Michigan City at teenagers who were not injured.

That happened after Taylor was released on his own recognizance to await trial for the murder due to legal technicalities in the case.

Police officers and Robert Neary, who was chief deputy prosecutor at the time, listened to part of what was supposed to be a private conversation between Taylor and his attorney.

Some of the evidence in the case was thrown out by the Indiana Supreme Court, which suspended Neary’s license to practice law for no less than four years.