Andrew Allred was sentenced to death by the State of Florida for a double murder. According to court documents Andrew Allred would shoot and kill Tiffany Barwick and Michael Ruschack. Andrew Allred would be arrested, convicted and sentenced to death.
Andrew Allred 2021 Information
|ALLRED, ANDREW R
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Andrew Allred More News
Andrew Allred, the 29-year-old man currently on death row for the 2007 murder of Ocala native Tiffany Barwick, is not eligible for post-conviction relief. The ruling came through a unanimous opinion released this week by the Florida Supreme Court, which affirmed a lower court’s decision.
Allred was sentenced to death in 2008, more than a year after he stormed into a home in Oviedo and fatally shot Barwick and Michael Ruschack.
Allred and Barwick were on poor terms after a difficult breakup that August, according to the opinion, and Allred was apparently upset that Barwick became romantically involved with Ruschack, who was his close friend.
After shooting his way into the home through a glass door, according to the opinion, Allred first shot Ruschack to death in the kitchen. After a brief struggle with a roommate, who survived with a leg wound, Allred continued to the bathroom. There he shot and killed his ex-girlfriend as she frantically spoke with a 911 operator.
The Florida Supreme Court upheld his conviction and sentence on appeal, so Allred has been pushing for post-conviction relief since 2012. He largely based his argument on the claim that his court-appointed attorney, Timothy Caudill, was ineffective.
That is a difficult claim to make, the Supreme Court justices point out in their opinion, as Allred twice waived his rights to a jury against his attorney’s recommendation.
Allred pleaded guilty in 2008, and later waived his right to have a jury decide his punishment.
The Supreme Court justices note in their opinion that Allred “never wavered in his desire to waive trial and plead guilty, despite counsel’s efforts to persuade him otherwise.”
In fact, the justices continue, the record shows that Allred’s “decisions were made against the advice of counsel and there was nothing counsel could have done” to change his mind.
In his appeal Allred pointed to specific errors he claims Caudill made. Notably, he says, Caudill failed to obtain and present a mental health expert during his sentencing.
The justices disagree with that claim in their opinion, noting that Allred’s attorney did have his mental health evaluated. The decision not to use that information at sentencing was strategic, they write: Dr. Deborah Day testified at a post-conviction hearing in circuit court that she would have had to testify that Allred was either psychopathic or sociopathic. Caudill’s decision not to call her at sentencing was reasonable, as this testimony likely would have hurt his case.
Allred argued in his appeal that his attorney should have then gone “expert shopping,” according to the opinion. The Supreme Court again disagreed.
Allred also argued in his appeal that his attorney should have pushed for a change of venue and that Florida’s method of capital punishment is unconstitutional.
The justices stood by Caudill’s opinion, and that of the trial court on appeal, that a change of venue was not warranted.
“Although there had been some publicity about the murders, the defense attorneys in their professional judgment thought it insufficient to warrant a change of venue,” the justices state in the opinion.
Regarding the unconstitutionality of Florida’s death penalty, the justices wrote that Allred’s specific arguments — that lethal injection is cruel and unusual punishment, for example, and that he has a constitutional right to know who is on his execution team — have already been settled in other cases.
The recent U.S. Supreme Court decision on Florida’s capital punishment system states that a jury, rather than a judge, must have the power to implement the death penalty. Allred, who waived his right to a jury at sentencing, did not directly address this issue in his appeal.