DELPHI, Ind. (Court TV) — Tuesday marks seven years since 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German were murdered in Delphi, Indiana.
Abby and Libby, both eighth graders, disappeared Feb. 13, 2017, while walking the Delphi Historic Trails. Their bodies were found the following day, a quarter mile from where they were last seen on the Monon High Bridge.
In remembrance of the girls, their families are holding an annual food drive and encouraging people outside Delphi to donate to food pantries near them.
Libby’s grandmother, Becky Patty, is also honoring Libby’s memory by sharing Facebook posts highlighting milestones and everyday events in her granddaughter’s life. Recently, she shared Libby’s official Oracle Softball team portrait and the recipe for vegan fettuccine alfredo, Libby wanted to try.
WHO IS CHARGED?
Richard M. Allen, 51, of Delphi was arrested and charged with the girls’ murders in October 2022. Officials announced at the time that other “actors” may have been involved and therefore the tip line in the case would remain open.
Allen, a married father of an adult daughter, was working as a manager of the local CVS when he was arrested. He has no criminal history.
In January 2024, the State filed a motion to amend the charges, adding four more counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping. Those charges have not been signed off on by the judge.
WHAT IS THE STATE’S CASE?
The State alleges that Richard Allen parked his black Ford Focus at what was then an abandoned CPS building near the trails and then walked to the Monon High Bridge where witnesses saw him.
They further allege that while trying to kidnap Abby and Libby, Allen killed them.
Allen did admit to being on the trails that day, telling a DNR officer days after the killings that he’d been out there, walked to the bridge, and didn’t see the girls. Prosecutors say he was there when the girls were dropped off around 1:35pm that Monday.
The State alleges that an unspent .40 caliber round found near the bodies was ejected from a gun recovered during a search of Allen’s home. The State also points to multiple confessions they say Allen made while speaking to his wife and mother on a recorded prison phone line.
WHAT IS HIS DEFENSE?
Defense attorneys admit Allen was at the trails that day, but say he left before the girls were dropped off. The have also alleged in court filings that white nationalist members of an Odinist fringe group killed Abby and Libby during a sacrificial ritual. They claim county and state investigators did not properly investigate these claims, and that video and audio recordings of early interviews with these men, and others, were “destroyed.” They say no evidence ties Allen to the crime scene or to the girls, and that he has no association with the Odinist group or its members.
WHERE IS RICHARD ALLEN TODAY?
Richard Allen has been held without bond since his arrest and is currently housed at the maximum-security Wabash Correctional Facility in Carlisle, Indiana, southwest of Indianapolis.
Typically, pre-trial defendants are held in county jails, but after his arrest Carroll County’s then-sheriff Tobe Leazenby filed notice with the court that he didn’t believe he could keep Allen safe. Judge Benjamin Diener approved the motion, sending Allen first to the maximum-security Westville Correctional Facility. Diener then recused himself.
Defense attorneys have said in court filings that Allen’s treatment behind bars is “inhumane” and amounts to torture. They say declines in his mental and physical health are due to the harsh conditions and that Odinist guards were keeping watch over him and intimidating him. Two guards at Westville admitted in a sworn statement that they were wearing patches on their uniforms that either were or could be construed as relating to Odinism.
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ISSUES ATTORNEYS ARE FIGHTING OVER PRETRIAL?
The defense is looking to have the charges dropped, saying investigators lost crucial evidence that could have cleared Allen, or pointed to other suspects. They are also trying to have Special Judge Fran Gull removed, saying she is biased against them and their client.
The State is asking the court to hold defense attorneys Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin in contempt over several issues including the release of sensitive crime scene photos of the victims that were stolen from Baldwin’s office.
In October of 2023 Judge Gull removed Rozzi and Baldwin from the case citing “gross negligence” and replaced them with two public defenders from her county. Civil attorneys then filed a case with the Indiana Supreme Court asking to reinstate the former defense team, remove the judge, and set a speedy trial within 70 days of the High Court’s ruling. After hearing oral arguments in the case in January 2024, the court immediately reinstated Rozzi and Baldwin but denied the other requests.
WHEN IS RICHARD ALLEN’S TRIAL?
Allen’s trial is currently scheduled for October 15 through November 1 of this year. It is expected to take place in Carroll County, where the crime happened, however the jury will be selected in Allen County to widen the pool. Special Judge Fran Gull, who was appointed by the state supreme court to hear this case, is also from Allen County. A gag order is in place for attorneys, investigators, and witnesses.