Cults, Leaks, Coercion and Controversy in Delphi Murder Case

The case following the murder of Abigail Williams and Liberty German has experienced several twists and turns since starting
Richard Allens trial is set to be in Carroll County itself, likely within the Carroll County Courthouse in Downtown Delphi. Allens trial is scheduled for October 2024 after being delayed due to the dismissal of his attorneys.
Richard Allen’s trial is set to be in Carroll County itself, likely within the Carroll County Courthouse in Downtown Delphi. Allen’s trial is scheduled for October 2024 after being delayed due to the dismissal of his attorneys.
Library of Congress

The Indiana Supreme Court is now involved in the trial of Richard Allen, the suspect charged with the murders of Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German in 2017. The Supreme Court has been asked to remove Special Judge Frances Gull in a motion filed on behalf of Allen’s former attorneys and to reinstate those attorneys that the judge removed. This is only the latest controversy surrounding the high-profile case, including multiple leaks, allegations of coercion by the judge, suicide and the removal of the defense team.

Court Documents Released to the Public

In June, Judge Gull unsealed over 100 documents related to the murder that were previously sealed and unavailable to the public. The documents included an alleged confession to the murder by Allen, previously unknown details of the crime scene, findings from a search warrant on his home and other information.

According to authorities, Allen confessed to the crime on multiple occasions while calling his wife.

“On April 3, 2023, Richard M. Allen made a phone call to his wife Kathy Allen,” the motion said. “In that phone call, Richard M. Allen admits several times that he killed Abby and Libby . . . M. Allen admits that he committed the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German. He admits several times within the phone call that he committed the offenses (sic) as charged.”

Allen’s attorneys stated that these confessions were made under duress.

Richard Allen was arrested by police in October 2022 for the double-murder of Liberty German and Abigail Williams. Allen pleaded not-guilty during his first appearance before the court. (Indiana State Police)

Documents also detailed the reasons Allen was charged with the murders. Investigators interviewed Allen in 2017 and 2022, where he stated he was on the trail between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m. the day they went missing and saw the girls at the Freedom Bridge. A search warrant of Allen’s home in 2022 found jackets, knives, boots and guns. An analysis of one of Allen’s guns confirmed an unspent round found near the bodies came from his gun.

In addition, several previously unknown details about the crime scene and the infamous bridge video were released with the documents. According to the documents, in the video one of the girls is believed to have said “gun” and the sound of a gun cycling was believed to have been heard by investigators. Documents also reveal that clothes were taken from the crime scene.

Richard Allen’s Defense Team Argues Local Cult Behind Killings

In a memo published by Allen’s defense attorneys, Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi, from Logansport, the defense pushed a new theory that Richard Allen is innocent because of a “pagan cult” following the ancient Nordic religion of Odinism.

According to the defense, the girls were used by the cult in a sacrificial ritual. The defense presented five alternative suspects as members of this cult. The defense says that these men in the cult plotted to kill Williams and German.

The defense also requested that evidence collected during the search warrant of Richard Allen be thrown out. The defense in their memo alleges that Sheriff Tony Liggett lied to have the search warrant signed by a judge. The prosecution in response to the defense’s memo called it, “a fanciful defense for social media to devour.”

Allen’s defense team further stated that Allen was facing harassment by two prison guards who were members of the alleged cult. Prosecutors have since stated they found no evidence corroborating this claim by the defense.

Crime Scene Photos Leaked

Photos of the crime scene of the murder of Libby and Abby were leaked to the public in mid-October. A former employee of one of the attorneys had gone into the attorney’s office and taken photos of evidence from the case.

This former employee then sent them to a man in Fort Wayne who subsequently leaked them online. State Police questioned the man for his involvement in the leak, but he refused to answer without a lawyer. After that, the man took his own life.

As a result of the leak, Judge Gull had announced that both attorneys in Allen’s defense teams said they would withdraw due to gross negligence. 

Then, in November, Mitchell Westerman, the man who had originally taken photos of the evidence, was charged for leaking the evidence. The trial was delayed by ten months due to this leak.

Defense Attorneys Argue they were Coerced by Judge, Request Her Removal

Judge Gull announced that both attorneys, Baldwin and Rozzi, said they would withdraw. Both attorneys have challenged this, however, claiming that the judge coerced them and that they never filed to withdraw from the case.

The options I’ve been given without any notice by the Court really are either withdraw or I’m gonna be publicly shamed and that’s the way I see this.

— Bradley Rozzi

Gull had assigned a new defense team to Allen, Robert Scremin and William Lebreto. However, Baldwin and Rozzi are challenging this. They requested that the Indiana Supreme Court remove Gull from the case for overstepping her authority and violating Allen’s constitutional rights. 

Other attorneys have also petitioned the Supreme Court to support Baldwin and Rozzi and argue for their reinstatement. The Supreme Court subsequently ordered the judge to release the court transcripts from when Allen’s former lawyers were dismissed. They gave Gull until Nov. 27 to release the transcripts.

Gull released the transcripts on Nov. 20.

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