Crime Watch 8

Delphi suspect Allen to be moved to state facility; judge decries ‘blood lust’ for information

DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — A man charged in the killings of two teenagers in 2017 will be moved from a county jail to a state facility.

Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby filed a request Thursday to transfer Richard Allen to the Indiana Department of Corrections. That request was subsequently approved by Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Diener. Allen has been charged in the murders of Abigail “Abby” Williams and Liberty “Libby” German in 2017.

Diener recused himself from the case later Thursday.

In the order to put Allen in a state prison, Diener wrote that the move is for Allen’s safety.

Court documents explain that when Allen appeared for his initial hearing, he was covered in protective gear. Court papers say this was not used to protect him from the court, but rather protect him from the public.

“This FINDING is not predicated on any acts or alleged acts of the Defendant, since arrest, rather a toxic and harmful insistence on ‘public information’ about Defendant and this case,” Diener wrote.

Judge Benjamin Diener with Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Loretta Rush at the Indiana Judicial College in 2018. (Provided Photo/Indiana Courts on Flickr)

Diener also wrote about YouTube creators posting videos about him.

“While this officer is responsible for the entirety of the Circuit Court docket it attempts to ignore the maelstrom of ‘interest’ from the public, it is known that YouTube already hosts content regarding family members of this judicial officer, including photos,” Diener wrote. “The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous. ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS administering this action do not feel safe and are not protected.”

While Allen was arrested on Oct. 28, a probable cause affidavit has not yet been made public. It is not yet known how police linked him to the case. A hearing regarding the documents had been scheduled for Nov. 22, but that could be rescheduled since Frances C. “Fran” Gull, criminal division administrative judge in Allen County, was appointed Thursday to hold that hearing and handle Allen’s case.

Read more of Diener’s order below:

Yet, concurrent to the actual case naturally occurring, this judicial officer keeps getting direct requests from non-parties for “public information,” claiming that this officer has seven (7) days or one (1) day, when hand delivered, to respond to the request or face litigation!

While this officer is responsible for the entirety of the Circuit Court docket it attempts to ignore the maelstrom of “interest” from the public, it is known that YouTube already hosts content regarding family members of this judicial officer, including photos.

The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous. ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS administering this action do not feel safe and are not protected.

The Carroll County Sheriff has limited resources to conduct its base operations, let alone any duties mandated by our Supreme Court.

All Defendants in all actions are presumes innocent. All public information will be available the second it exists. None of the family members of public servants are part of this action. All of the public servants are simply people doing their jobs. Most of the public servants are woefully underpaid. Most of the “public interest” consists of people attempting to raise their status or profit financially.

When the public peddles misinformation with reckless abandon, we all are not safe.

As far as the public’s desire to learn about access to court records, that educational effort cannot be by thus officer educating each individual, ad-hoc, whenever they choose to seek “public information.” These inquiries are inherently disruptive to the operations of the Court as they are wholly outside the operations of the Court.

As a branch of the Supreme Court, any requests for public information about this action should be directed to whomever is the public information coordinator for the Courts in general. If there is not such a position our state may need one.

Defendant indicated at the initial hearing an intention to hire private counsel.

Defendant is reminded that he must retain counsel within 20 days of the initial hearing because there are deadlines for filing motions and raising defenses and, if those deadlines are missed, the legal issues and defenses that could have been raised will be waived or given up.

If Defendant is unable to retain counsel of his choosing due to financial indigency, Defendant is reminded that he is entitled to court-appointed counsel and Defendant will be examined upon request.

Carroll County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Diener