Andrew Allred

On September 24, 2007 nineteen year old Tiffany Barwick was at her friend Michael Ruschack's home in Ocala Florida with other friends enjoying a cookout. Tiffany had recently broken up with her boyfriend, Andrew Allred but he had been harassing her. In fact, just that day she filed a report with the police claiming that he had hacked into her bank account and taken money. She also reported that he had sent her threatening emails and that she knew he had recently bought a gun. By the time the day would be over Tiffany would be found dead in the bathroom of Ruschack's home where she had been shot at least seven times in the chest, wrist and legs. Michael Ruschack would also be dead in the kitchen area of the home where he had been shot four times in the back and chest. Michael's roommate, Eric Roberts suffered a gunshot wound to the leg when he attempted to subdue Allred, and survived.

Tiffany and Andrew had met in late 2006 when they were both at the University of Central Florida in Orlando. In June of 2007 Tiffany moved in with Andrew at his parents' home, living in the basement. It did not take long before it seems that Tiffany knew this was not a good decision. According to friends he started out very nice and devoted to Tiffany but soon he “lapsed into his typical cranky, bullying behavior” that they had seen in the past from him. According to her family and friends the pairing of the two seemed odd from the start. Andrew was rather introverted and by their accounts “weird” but they never thought they had anything to worry from him. Tiffany was the opposite of Andrew in that she was a very outgoing person who socialized easily. By August Tiffany was considering breaking up with Andrew but she had planned to wait until after his 21st birthday in August. She had expressed her feelings in an online journal that she kept but before the party, that Tiffany and Andrew's friend, Michael Ruschack were planning, he had hacked and discovered her plan. He apparently confronted her at the party and threw her out. Ruschack came to her defense which caused issues between the two.

According to my research it was unclear just where Tiffany went to live at that point but on September 18th she had signed a lease for an apartment but it does not appear that she had moved in just quite yet. It was reported that the day that they split Andrew went and bought a .45 caliber handgun. He then apparently set out to make her life a living hell and despite any information to the contrary he was convinced that Tiffany and Michael Ruschack were now a couple. To be fair, they could have been, or at least thinking about it but there seemed to be no evidence that anything started before the break up and that the reasons behind Tiffany breaking up with him stemmed purely from Andrews actions and behavior.

Over the next month or so Andrew sent Tiffany harassing messages. One was in the form of an email in which the subject line stated “Target” and the message contained a picture of her full of bullet holes. He had also hacked into her social media account and sent offensive messages to those on her friends list posing as Tiffany. It appears that when he hacked into her bank account on the morning of the murder she had had enough. It would be learned that later that afternoon he would quit his job and that he spent most of the rest of the day and evening drinking alcohol. My research indicated that around 10:20 there were still several people at Michael Ruschack's home from the cook out and that Tiffany had received a message from Andrew stating he was on the way there. Tiffany had informed the group that he was coming and while they were still determining what they wanted to do (leave or stay) they heard a loud crash at the front of the house. Allred had rammed his truck into Tiffany's car. He then got out of his vehicle, went to the back of the house and show through the glass door.

Once inside Allred began shooting at Ruschack while he was in the kitchen. Tiffany had taken her phone and ran to the bathroom to call 911. Eric Roberts then began wrestling with Allred to get the gun out of his hands but instead Allred show him in the leg and headed towards the bathroom. Once he broke down the door he began shooting Tiffany. Immediately after the shooting he first called a friend and left a message. He then called his mother, who also apparently did not answer and left a message for her. It was then that he called 911. Police would arrive and while Allred had apparently left the scene he was arrested about an hour later.

In 2008 despite the lawyer attempting to change his mind, Allred pleaded guilty, waiving his right to a jury trial. He then had the option to have a jury decide his sentence but again, against his lawyer's advice, he waived his rights again, leaving the decision up to a judge. The judge would sentence him to death.

Over the years Allred had filed several appeals. The overwhelming theme in his appeals are based on stating that his original attorney, Timothy Caudill was ineffective. The Supreme Court has ruled that Caudill continually attempted to persuade Allred to not waive his right to a jury both for a trial, and for sentencing. They apparently had proof of this through court records. This is very common but it was his second issue dealing with Caudill and Allred's (or his attorney's) reaction or response that I found most interesting.

It is fairly common in trials that experts will testify for one side or another. I personally have often said that if each side looked enough they would surely find an “expert” to agree with them. The interesting thing here was in one of his appeals Allred stated that Caudill had failed to obtain and present a mental health expert at his sentencing. The courts ruled that Caudill had in fact had Allred evaluated but had decided not to use the results because the expert was prepared to claim that Allred was either psychopathic or sociopathic, both of which would have hurt the defense. In the next appeal he obviously had to acknowledge the ruling of the court but he then argued that once expert they had found did not agree with the defense that Caudill should have “shopped” around until he found one who would.

As far as mental health issues go, there really seemed to be none. The best that the defense could do was say that Allred had been diagnosed with ADHD at around five years old and took medication until his teen years. Even his parents would argue that they had no issues with him in his upbringing.

As of 2016 his appeals have been denied.  


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