Richard Allen meets attorneys in metal cage, fighting to oust judge

Posted at 4:35 PM, January 29, 2024

DELPHI, Ind. (Court TV) — New photos show a metal cage where Richard Allen has been meeting with his attorneys behind bars, as those attorneys now fight to have him moved to a new facility and have the judge kicked off the case.

Allen is charged with killing Abigail Williams and Liberty German in Delphi in 2017. The two friends went for a walk in the woods on a day off from school and were found murdered.

Officers escort Richard Matthew Allen

Officers escort Richard Matthew Allen, out of the Carroll County courthouse following a hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Delphi, Ind. Allen was charged last month with two counts of murder in the killings of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

In a newly-filed affidavit, Richard Allen lists 19 reasons why Judge Fran Gull should be removed from his murder case, including tampering with the attorney/client relationship, violating his due process and Sixth Amendment rights and making public misrepresentations on the record.

The affidavit was filed by Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin, attorneys who were reinstated by order of the Indiana Supreme Court after Gull removed them from the case in October.

The Oct. 12 hearing, where Gull told the court that Rozzi and Baldwin had withdrawn from Allen’s case, is the focus of much of the motion. In the affidavit, Allen accuses the judge of violating his due process rights when she “ambushed counsel with a planned Hobson’s choice designed to coerce withdrawals,” and then made public misrepresentations on the record when she described the events at the hearing of “outside of [our] control,” saying, “These words spoken are untruths as the withdrawals of Baldwin and Rozzi were exactly what Judge Gull had pre-planned to happen.”

Allen also accuses Gull of changing her ruling in a prior order after his attorneys were reinstated, pointing to comments she made indicating she would schedule a Franks Hearing if the new attorneys appointed by the court after she removed Bradley and Rozzi wanted one. “Two business days after Attorneys Rozzi and Baldwin were reinstated, Judge Gull issued an Order denying a hearing on the Frank’s Motion and denying a motion in limine… The absence of any real factual or legal analysis contained in Judge Gull’s order begs the question of whether Judge Gull actually engaged in any meaningful review of the memo and attached exhibits.”

Allen is currently being housed at the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility, where he was transferred after successfully petitioning to be moved out of the Westville Correctional Facility. But his attorneys want him moved again, citing similar safety issues to the first prison and describing their client as being “shackled and chained in a manner resembling Hannibal Lecter.” While the defense has pointed to Allen’s current conditions as a reason why Gull should be removed from the case, the prosecution’s response to their request paints a very different picture.

“The Defendant is being treated far better than any other inmate in the DOC.”

a metal door

A photo shows a metal room where Richard Allen was placed to meet with his attorneys. (Court Evidence)

In his response to Allen’s motion for transfer, prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said that contrary to what the defense has said, Allen has not had showering or recreation time denied, but rather was not allowed to go outside for recreation time for a period because he was a suicide risk.

While the Wabash Valley Correctional Facility doesn’t allow face-to-face visits, prosecutors say that an exception was made for Allen to meet with his attorneys.

“[The prison] did accommodate counsel and set the Defendant in a special room seated behind a door that was see-through that had a slot where documents, papers or whatever could be passed back and forth.”

Photos of the “special room,” attached to the filing, show what appears to be a tall, thin cage with holes in it.

McLeland also noted that Allen has a tablet in his cell that he can use to communicate with his attorneys at any time, and that he also has a commissary in his cell, unlike other prisoners.

Noting that facilities in Adams, Allen and Carroll Counties are unable to accommodate Allen, McLeland noted in the motion, “This seems to be more of a motion about convenience for [Rozzi and Bradley] instead of zealous representation of the Defendant.”

Rozzi noted in his motion that he had made arrangements for Cass County to house Allen, but McLeland did not mention that facility in his response.