Defense demands judge’s removal in Delphi murders trial
Defense wants judge removed from Allen trial
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The attorneys for the man accused of the Delphi murders want the judge removed from the case.
The new demand was part of a series of filings Thursday in the case of Richard Allen.
Judge Frances Gull, the special judge appointed for the trial nearly one year ago, announced in a hearing last week that attorneys Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin were stepping down from Allen’s defense.
The decision came amid an investigation into leaked documents and crime scene photos in the deaths of Abby Williams and Libby German.
The girls were found stabbed to death near the Monon High Bridge in February of 2017.
Rozzi now claims Judge Gull carried out a “pre-meditated ambush” and “coerced” the withdrawals.
Thursday’s filing accuses Gull of “ambushing” Rozzi and Baldwin with a choice: “suffer a public shaming AND be removed from the case or to voluntarily withdraw.”
Rozzi argues Gull was planning to read a letter in open court alleging the defense team had been “grossly negligent” in its representation of Richard Allen.
Allen has repeatedly asked that his attorneys continue in the case.
“Throughout these proceedings Judge Gull has exhibited a bias and prejudice against the Accused and his attorneys and in favor of the prosecution,” Rozzi wrote.
Rozzi claims the judge’s actions violate the rules of professional conduct, and that she should either recuse herself or be removed as the judge.
All parties in the case are under a gag order and can not comment except in public court hearings or filings.
Neither the prosecutor nor the judge have filed responses as of Thursday afternoon.
Richard Allen is due to return to court October 31, but his attorneys have asked that the hearing be postponed.
His trial on two counts of murder is currently set to begin in January, although that is almost certain to be delayed.