Delphi Murders: Attorneys request removal of judge in Richard Allen’s case

Posted at 4:35 PM, November 7, 2023

DELPHI, Ind. (Scripps News Indianapolis) — Indiana attorneys have stepped in to ask that the Indiana Supreme Court remove the judge from the case of Richard Allen, who is accused of killing two young girls in Delphi.

Richard Allen court arrival.

Richard Allen arrives for a hearing in the case against him for the 2017 murders of Libby German and Abby Williams along with former and new lawyers. (Scripps News Indianapolis)

Attorneys who filed the motion say Special Judge Fran Gull was wrong when she accused Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin of gross negligence and forced them to withdraw from Richard Allen’s case last month.

The lawyers want the state’s high court to reinstate them and appoint a new judge.

“No Indiana court has ever tolerated a trial judge removing a lawyer from a case, over the client’s objection, based on the judge’s subjective belief the lawyer is negligent, or even ‘grossly negligent,'” attorneys Mark K. Leeman and Cara Schaefer Wieneke said in a 21-page brief filed Monday in the Indiana Supreme Court.

MORE: Delphi Murders: Lawyers Removed, Where Does Case Stand?

“And courts across the country regularly issue extraordinary writs in criminal cases to reinstate defense attorneys who have been kicked off cases for conduct the trial court found upsetting or negligent.”

Allen was been charged with murder in the 2017 deaths of Libby German and Abby Williams. Gull, according to Monday’s filing, removed the attorneys for a series of negligent acts that included:

  • the release of a press release prior to a gag order;
  • unintentionally emailing a discovery log to a third party;
  • and for the leak of crime scene photos by a former employee who accessed the files in Baldwin’s office without permission.

Allen told Gull he wanted Rozzi and Baldwin to represent him. Gull denied the request. “I cannot and will not allow them to represent you,” Gull told Allen.

Gull appointed attorneys Robert Scremin and William Lebrato to represent Allen and delayed the trial until Oct. 15, 2024.

The brief claims Gull’s actions violate Allen’s Constitutional rights to choose his own counsel and to have a speedy trial.


This story was originally published by Scripps News Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps Company.

Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the motion had been filed by Baldwin and Rozzi. The motion was filed on their behalf by other attorneys.