Trial for man charged with raping disabled woman in Walmart delayed while new attorney to be hired

The trial of a man accused of raping a disabled woman in broad daylight in the Dickson Wal-mart store was postponed Monday so the defendant can get a new lawyer because his attorney is about to become a judge. 26-year-old Justin Cory Chandler of Centerville faces a charge of rape following an alleged July 31, 2012, sexual assault of a woman with cerebral palsy while she was shopping with her young daughter. Chandler was scheduled to stand trial Monday in Dickson County Circuit Court, but Judge Robert Burch granted a continuance because Chandler’s attorney is David Wolfe, who will take Burch’s place on the bench starting Monday. With Burch retiring, Wolfe won an unopposed race for the 23rd Judicial District Division I seat in this month’s election. Wolfe told Burch Monday that he was advised by the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts to immediately begin handing off his pending cases to other attorneys. Wolfe said he has been in discussion with other lawyers about taking over his cases but has not yet confirmed a new attorney for Chandler. Burch placed Chandler’s case on Judge Larry Wallace’s Sept. 8 docket for a new attorney to file notice of representation and to have a new trial date set. Chandler has been in the Hickman County Jail since January after being arrested on a violation of probation warrant. In May 2013, it was discovered Chandler had placed an ad on Craigslist seeking a female roommate to move in with him in an apartment in Columbia. A judge ordered Chandler to stay off the internet and to get the court’s permission before moving or changing jobs. Burch will administer the oath of office to Wolfe in a ceremony Friday afternoon and the new judge takes the bench for his first day in court Tuesday.