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Richard Allen, accompanied by his former and new lawyers, arrives for a hearing related to the 2017 murders of Libby German and Abby Williams.
Before diving into Allen’s upcoming trial, two Indiana civil attorneys have taken the initiative to seek the perspective of the Indiana Supreme Court. They have posed three significant questions that have the potential to bring about significant changes to the proceedings.
Attorneys Mark K. Leeman and Cara Schaefer Wieneke filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus on behalf of Allen in November. They requested the court to:
- To reinstate his former public defenders, Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin
- Set a speedy trial date within 70 days of the high court’s decision
- And to remove Special Judge Frances Gull and replace her with another Special Judge
In October of last year, Special Judge Frances Gull made the decision to remove Allen’s previous defense team. This action was taken due to the discovery of leaked crime scene photos that were connected to Andrew Baldwin’s office. Judge Gull deemed this to be a case of “gross negligence.” The new defense team, consisting of Robert Scremin and William Lebrato from Allen County, was appointed to replace the previous attorneys.
In court documents, Rozzi and Baldwin claimed that Allen was enduring a nightmarish existence in a secure unit at the high-security Westville Correctional Facility. Ordinarily, pre-trial defendants are held in the county jail where the offense occurred. However, due to concerns about Allen’s safety, then-sheriff Tobe Leazenby requested that he be housed in a different facility following his arrest in October 2022. Carroll County was unable to guarantee his well-being.
Judge Frances Gull made an announcement stating that the scheduled hearing was canceled and Richard Allen’s attorneys had withdrawn from the case.
Rozzi and Baldwin also claimed that individuals belonging to a white supremacist cult, who were likely responsible for the girls’ murder, were also employed as guards in Allen’s prison unit.
In a 21-page brief filed, Allen is requesting the High Court to uphold his constitutional right to a speedy trial. He is urging the court to set a new date within 70 days of their decision. Previously scheduled for January 2024, Allen’s trial was postponed by almost a year to allow his new defense team sufficient time to prepare. Additionally, Allen is seeking the removal of Special Judge Frances Gull, alleging bias against him and the defense team he wishes to represent him during the trial.
Flowers have been placed at the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi, Indiana, on Monday, October 31, 2022. This location holds significance as it is where Liberty German and Abigail Williams were last seen and where their bodies were discovered. The photo captures the somber scene, a tribute to the lives lost.
According to prosecutors, in 2017, Allen informed an investigator that he had been on the trails and bridge that day with the intention of observing fish in the creek. However, he maintained that he had not seen Abby or Libby. This particular piece of information was not thoroughly investigated until 2022 when a cold case investigator carefully reviewed the tips.
Allen is currently held without bond on two murder charges and has entered a plea of not guilty. He is being held in the protective unit of the maximum-security Wabash Valley Correctional Facility. After being transferred from Westville Correctional Facility, Allen’s new attorneys recently filed a six-page motion requesting that Allen be moved to a closer location. They argue that their ability to represent Allen may be seriously, if not fatally, impacted if the request is not granted.
Court TV will broadcast Allen’s Indiana Supreme Court hearing live on Thursday, January 18, 2024, at 11 a.m. ET. Viewers can expect comprehensive coverage of the proceedings.
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