Retrial Ordered for Gionis in Wayne Assault

From a Times Staff Writer

A judge Monday rejected several motions to drop assault charges against Dr. Thomas A. Gionis and ordered a retrial to begin Monday.

A jury in 1990 could not reach a verdict in Gionis' first trial, in which he was accused of masterminding an attack by three men on his ex-wife, Aissa Wayne, daughter of the late actor John Wayne. Prosecutors alleged that Gionis was trying to intimidate Aissa Wayne as part of a custody dispute over their daughter.

Superior Court Judge Theodore Millard, who presided at Gionis' first trial, made the rulings.

Gionis will be represented by New York lawyer Bruce Cutler, who was attorney for accused mobster John Gotti in a celebrated trial in New York City.

It is not the first time Gionis has hired a prominent attorney. After his arrest, he hired F. Lee Bailey but then dropped him for Orange County lawyer John D. Barnett. Barnett won the mistrial but is now busy with the Rodney King beating case.

Gionis, who was represented in court Monday by Bettina Schein, a New York attorney from Cutler's office, also sought to disqualify Deputy Dist. Atty. Christopher Evans and to appoint an independent prosecutor. The motion was denied.

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