By: Katie Cox
Allen is charged with two counts of murder in connection with the 2017 deaths of Liberty German and Abigail Williams.
He has been housed at the Westville Correctional Facility since November 2022, when he was transferred into the state’s custody for “safekeeping” at the request of Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby. That order, which was approved the same day, stated that the “public’s blood lust for information” was dangerous and that Allen was in danger as well as those who were guarding him.
In an emergency motion filed Wednesday, April 5, Allen’s defense team claims their client has suffered from poor conditions at the maximum security prison where he is currently housed.
Allen’s attorneys claim that since the decision to move him was made prior to his counsel being appointed, and there was never a hearing, that he was not able to be properly represented in the matter.
In the emergency order, Allen’s attorneys claim they were able to secure a space at the Cass County Jail, which would put him closer to his attorneys, the courthouse and family and that Carroll County Prosecutor Nicolas McLeland had no objection to Allen being moved. But they say the Carroll County Sheriff’s Dept. declined their request.
“Mr. Allen asserts that said denial is deliberate attempt to impose conditions upon him that are intended to fi’ustrate his purpose in defending against the charged allegations and create hardship on him which would drive any human to mental breakdown. Said approach to his pre-trial detention is direct infringement on his 6′” Amendments rights under the U.S. Constitution,” the filing states.
In the motion filed Wednesday, Allen’s attorneys claim that they were denied access to inspect his cell block and living circumstances.
Despite that, their attorneys claim Allen has been sleeping on a pad on a concrete floor inside of a cell that is “no larger than that of a dog kennel.” They say he is given “little, if any” recreation time outside of what they call “cold, concrete and metal quarters.”
The motion claims that Allen is only allowed to shower one to two times per week and is often forced to wear the same clothes, including underwear, for days.
They also argue that his isolation has made him unable to visit his wife or other family members and that he’s only allowed to make calls to family members through a tablet, which is monitored by prison officials.
Outside of family, his attorneys say that his location makes it hard for them to provide a proper defense, because they have to “travel for hours” to see their client and because of his segregation and isolation he is being “deprived of his constitutional right to assist in his defense.” As an example, Allen’s attorneys claim they provided paperwork to the jail for regarding his defense on March 24 and as of Monday, April 3, he had not yet been given the material.
Because of the conditions in which Allen is being held, his attorneys claim they have noticed a change in his demeanor. They say he has always been polite, communicative and in good humor “in spite of his false arrest,” but they have noticed a “steep decline” in his ability to communicate and assist in his defense.
Simply put, this version of Richard Allen was very different version than counsel for Mr. Allen had interacted with over the past five months. Mr. Allen appeared to be suffering from various psychotic symptoms which counsel would describe as schizophrenic and delusional. Counsel further believes that in our April 4, 2023 interaction, Mr. Allen seems to be suffering from memory loss and is demonstrating an overall inability to communicate rationally with counsel and family members. Counsel experienced, these symptoms, firsthand, upon visiting Mr. Allen on Monday, April 4th, 2023.
The two photos were provided as evidence supporting the motion, one allegedly shows Allen currently incarcerated while the second one allegedly shows Allen a “year or two” prior to his arrest.
Allen’s attorneys are requesting an emergency decision to move Allen to Cass County or that the judge conducts a hearing “as soon as possible” regarding the situation.
A judge has already ruled that the jury for Allen’s trial will come from Allen County
Special Judge Frances Gull denied a request to move Allen’s trial out of Carroll County earlier this year, but said all jurors for the case would be brought in from Allen County.
Allen’s bail hearing is still set for Thursday, June 15 in Carroll County.
This story was originally published April 5 by WRTV in Indianapolis, an E.W. Scripps Company.