Delphi investigators: Defense ‘twisting facts for sensationalism’ over cult sacrifice claims

Posted at 9:21 AM, September 25, 2023 and last updated 10:18 AM, September 25, 2023


DELPHI, Ind. (Court TV) – A retired Indiana police officer cited in court documents by defense attorneys for the man charged in the Delphi murders is calling into question how his statements have been characterized by attorneys, suggesting the defense is “twisting facts.”

Public defenders for Richard Allen, charged with the 2017 double murders of Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and best friend Liberty German, 14, have accused a white nationalist Odinist group of killing the girls in a ritualistic sacrifice.

Officers escort Richard Matthew Allen, out of the Carroll County courthouse

FILE – Officers escort Richard Matthew Allen, out of the Carroll County courthouse following a hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Delphi, Ind. An Indiana judge overseeing the case of Allen, charged in the 2017 slayings of two teenage girls issued a gag order Friday, Dec. 2, directing the parties involved not to speak publicly about the case.(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Defense attorneys Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin accused investigators of ignoring damning evidence pointing to the Odinists, a Norse religion “hijacked by white nationalists” in a 136-page memorandum filed last week with the Carroll County Circuit Court. The memo cites the work of three Indiana law enforcement officers, Kevin Murphy, Greg Ferency, and Todd Click.

RELATED: Richard Allen’s attorneys claim Odinists ‘sacrificed’ Delphi teens

According to the defense memo, “Click was concerned that for some reason the leadership of the investigative team had failed to share with (Carroll County) Prosecutor McLeland the evidence gathered by Click, Ferency, and Murphy. Click’s concerns led him to seek out a lawyer to assist him in the drafting of a letter. This letter was then sent to McLeland.” In a footnote to the document, it states the certified letter was received on May 1, 2023, and refers to a copy attached to the official filing, marked as Exhibit 3.

Rozzi and Baldwin’s memo further states that the defense was not made aware of this letter “until after it was obvious from the last round of depositions that the defense would certainly be talking to Todd Click.” The memo calls the letter “exculpatory in nature.”

In a statement released to Court TV, retired Rushville, Indiana officer Todd Click writes: “No one in law enforcement believes Abby and Libby were killed in a ritual sacrifice. That is the defense twisting facts for sensationalism.” Click did not agree to an interview, citing the gag-order in effect on witnesses and investigators in the case.

Allen, a former CVS worker in Delphi, was arrested and charged with the murders of Abby and Libby in October of 2022. He is currently being held in the Westville Correctional Facility awaiting trial, scheduled for January 2024. At the time of his arrest, Prosecutor Nick McLeland and Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter indicated the investigation remained ongoing and “other actors” could be involved in the double murder that garnered international headlines when it happened.

Public defenders Rozzi and Baldwin have said their client is innocent, despite Prosecutor McLeland stating in a recent court filing that Allen has confessed to the crime multiple times in recorded prison calls with his wife and mother.

According to the defense memo, “Click became concerned that the information contained in Richard Allen’s affidavit pointing the finger at Richard Allen was far less compelling than the totality of the information that Detective Ferency, Detective Murphy, and Officer Click had accumulated during the Rushville portion of the investigation.”

At the time of the murders, Detective Greg Ferency was a detective with the Terre Haute Police Department assigned to the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force. Detective Kevin Murphy, of Indiana State Police, was also a member of that task force. Todd Click was an officer with Rushville Police. On July 7, 2021, Ferency, 50, was shot and killed outside the FBI building in Terre Haute. Shane Meehan is charged in that case.

Flowers are placed at the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi, Ind., Monday, Oct. 31, 2022, near where Liberty German and Abigail Williams were last seen and where the bodies were discovered. The Indiana State Police announced an arrest in the murders of the two teenage girls killed during a 2017 hiking trip in northern Indiana. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Abby and Libby were reported missing on the afternoon of Monday, February 13, 2017, after being dropped off at a local walking trail in the rural community of Delphi, located more than 75 miles northwest of Indianapolis. Images posted by Libby to social media showed the historic Monon High Bridge, and Abby walking across it. At that time, the bridge was an abandoned railroad trestle spanning Deer Creek, towering 63 feet above the water. The following day, the girls’ bodies were found on private property ¼ mile away. Within days, investigators released a blurry image of a man wearing a blue jacket and jeans walking on the bridge and asked for the public’s help in identifying him. Later, it was learned the image came from a short video clip found on Libby’s phone that revealed the man was behind the girls and ordered them “guys, down the hill.”

Despite having video of the man that included his voice, the case went unsolved for nearly six years.

Allen’s defense is requesting a Franks hearing to determine if false or intentionally misleading statements in support of the search warrant require the suppression of the fruits of those searches.

RELATED: Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen wants his trial televised

Allen’s defense team is accusing current Carroll County Sheriff Tony Liggett of lying or misrepresenting facts to obtain the search warrant for Allen’s home in October 2022. If defense counsel can convince Judge Fran Gull that then-Deputy Liggett lied, the entire search and any evidence gathered during it could be deemed inadmissible. From publicly released documents in the case, we know that a 40-caliber unspent bullet was found near the bodies of Abby and Libby. The prosecution indicated the round was “forensically determined to have been cycled through Richard Allen’s Sig Sauer Model P226” pistol found at Allen’s home during the search. If Allen’s gun was recovered in an illegal search, any testing linking it to the crime scene could be tossed out.

Judge Gull and Prosecutor Nick McLeland have not responded publicly to the defense request for a Franks hearing, or to the sensational claims contained in the memo supporting the request.