By: James Howell Jr.
DELPHI, Ind. (Court TV/Scripps News Indianapolis) — Last week during a hearing in the Delphi murders trial for Richard Allen, Special Judge Fran Gull announced defense attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi would be withdrawing themselves from the case.
Allen is charged with the murders of Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German, teenagers who had disappeared while out walking on Feb. 13, 2017. The girls’ bodies were found the next day.
On Thursday, attorney Brad Rozzi filed a motion to continue his representation of Allen, claiming the court ambushed him and Baldwin, placing them in a compromising position.
Rozzi says during a meeting in Gull’s chambers, the court told him to withdraw from the case or he would face “public shaming” by disqualifying him in open court. Rozzi claims the court planned to disqualify him and Baldwin from the case for “gross negligence.”
While Baldwin has withdrawn from the case formally, Rozzi is now saying he no longer intends to withdraw.
Along with his filing to retain representation for Allen, Rozzi has asked the Indiana Supreme Court to step in and remove Gull from the case due to Rule 2.11 of the Indiana Code of Judicial Conduct.
Rule 2.11 states in part, “Under this Rule, a judge is disqualified whenever the judge’s impartiality might reasonably be questioned…”
Rozzi claims Gull has removed and concealed defense pleadings including the defense’s request for a hearing which would discuss the possibility of throwing out the search warrant of Allen’s property.
According to the motion to disqualify, Rozzi also claims Gull’s complaints about the defense’s work included their filings for Allen’s removal from the Westville Correctional Facility and a leak of crime scene photographs. Rozzi claims the request for removal from the facility was within the defense’s rights and the leak of crime scene photographs was unknown to Baldwin and himself.
Rozzi has also requested that the scheduled hearing for Oct. 31 be continued.
In an order posted Thursday night, Gull insisted that Rozzi and Baldwin both be removed from the case and said they must turn over discovery to the state to be made available to successor counsel. Gull asked her clerk to remove both names as the attorney of record in the case.
Gull also said the Oct. 31 hearing would be maintained.
On Friday, Gull ordered that Rozzi’s filings from Wednesday be stricken from the judicial record and removed from Richard Allen’s case file.
This story was originally published by Scripps News Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps Company.