Inmate’s letter alleges abuse, mistreatment at prison housing Delphi murders suspect
DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — An inmate at the Westville Correctional Facility in July notified the judge in the Delphi murders case that suspect Richard Allen was being abused and mistreated, according to a letter the court unsealed this week.
Richard Allen, 51, of Delphi, was arrested on Oct. 28, 2022, for the February 2017 murders of 13-year-old Abigail “Abby” Williams and 14-year-old Liberty “Libby” German near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi.
She will have until Nov. 27 to answer questions about Allen’s attorneys and her possible removal from the case.
Court documents released this week show inmate Robert P. Baston sent “a letter to the court” in Carroll County about abuse and mistreatment to himself and Allen from “corrupt sergeants and officers and administrative staff and mental health professionals.” Baston’s says his jail cell is near Allen’s.
The court had sealed the letter from public view, and News 8 obtained it on Tuesday.
Baston, 55, is jailed until at least March 2050 as a child molester out of Ripley County, online Indiana Department of Correction records show.
Baston had been set to meet with Allen’s defense attorneys in June to discuss what he knew about Allen’s abuse and mistreatment, but, after what he called “fear for my life,” he refused to let deputies take him from the state prison to Delphi to talk with them.
In the letter, stamped as received by the court July 5, Baston wrote that “I have witnessed Richard M. Allen being abused and mistreated by Westville Corr. Fac./Westville restrictive housing unit staff and officers that has effected his health and mental health.”
Baston also asked for “the proper authorities to investigate.”
As News 8 has reported, prosecutors in court June 15 revealed that suspect Allen has confessed to the girls’ murders multiple times while incarcerated. His defense lawyers in the same June court hearing said the confessions came as Allen suffered inhumane treatment at a maximum security prison. Allen’s attorneys argue the confessions are invalid and were prompted only by his declining mental health because of his conditions in prison.
News 8 also has reported, during an Oct. 19 hearing, Judge Fran Gull, the special judge assigned to the Delphi murders case, came into the Allen County courtroom and said, “We have had an unexpected turn of events.” Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi withdrew as Allen’s defense attorneys after an evidence leak from Baldwin’s office.
As a result, Allen’s trial was moved from January to October.
The inmate’s letter was one of two developments this week in the case.
On Thursday, Judge Frances Gull filed a brief with the Indiana Supreme Court to defend her decision to keep some parts of the case private. She claims Allen waited too long to object, never filed an objection with her, and that his defense team violated state and federal standards by naming Abby and Libby in the a memo with more than 100 pages this past fall.