Judge approves new murder charges against Richard Allen

Posted at 8:27 AM, March 19, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS (AP/Court TV) — A judge approved two additional murder counts Monday against an Indiana man charged in the killings of two teenage girls but rejected a prosecutor’s bid to add kidnapping charges.

The new charges approved against Richard Allen of Delphi are two additional counts of intentional murder in addition to the original two counts of murder while committing or attempting to commit kidnapping.

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)

Allen was arrested in October 2022 and charged with murder in the 2017 slayings of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German. He pleaded not guilty to the original murder charges.

Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said when he filed the amended charges in January that it “more accurately aligns the charging information with the cause’s discovery and probable cause affidavit.”

In addition to approving the new charges, Special Judge Fran Gull also ruled that all future hearings in the case will be held in Carroll County, other than jury selection on May 13. Some hearings have been held in Fort Wayne, where Gull is an Allen Superior Court judge.

A relative of one of the teenagers dropped them off on Feb. 13, 2017, at a hiking trail near their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis. They were reported missing that evening after they didn’t show up at a meeting place where they had arranged to be picked up. Their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, heavily wooded area near the trail.

The killings have haunted Delphi, a city of about 3,000 where Allen worked at a drugstore, and the case has been closely watched in the state and nationwide.

Gull issued a gag order in December 2022 barring attorneys, law enforcement officials, court personnel, the coroner and the girls’ family members from commenting on the case to the public or the media in any form, including social media.

Prosecutors sought the order, citing intense public scrutiny and media attention. After a Carroll County judge recused himself, Gull was brought in as a special judge to oversee the case.