Make your home page

Defense team in Delphi murders case turn to public for funding

Delphi murders defense team asks public for money

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Defense attorneys representing Richard Allen in the Delphi murders case are now asking the public to help pay for expert witnesses.

Allen is accused of killing Abby Williams and Libby German in 2017.

In just a few days, Allen’s defense team has raise more than half of their $25,000 goal to pay expert witnesses.

“Crowd funding is sort of an iffy gray area in this space with criminal defense,” Murder Sheet podcast host Áine Cain said. “In fact, a lot of sites like GoFundMe explicitly do not allow you to crowd criminal defense for violent crimes unless you’ve been exonerated.”

Cain and co-host Kevin Greenlee told I-Team 8 the crowd funding campaign stems from court filings that the public is not allowed to see. The defense asked Judge Gull to approve funding for specific expert witnesses.

“We all have no ability to know what exactly they asked for, what they wanted, and from the defenses telling of this, the judge approved some of those experts for funding and then denied others, so it’s very hard to assess from the outside what that means,” Cain said. “You know, was this a use of judicial discretion? Or is this unfair to the defense because we just don’t know what was denied?”

“She’s well within her rights to deny those requests, and it’s not at all unusual for judges to deny requests of public defenders,” Greenlee said. “This is part of the process. Public defenders, for better or for worse, don’t get blank checks to get as many experts as they want.”

“Why do these experts need to be paid?” asked I-Team 8 Reporter Kody Fisher.

“Well, when experts come in, they are using their knowledge and their skillset, and they just typically get paid,” Greenlee said. “That’s how the process works. That would be like if I tried to subpoena someone to do a free days worth of work, that would be unfair.”

Cain and Greenlee said this fight over money could impact the timing of the upcoming trial in May.

“I feel like the fact that money issues are being debated right now is a pretty strong sign to me that this is not going to happen in May,” Cain said. “That we are not going to see a trial in May.”

While the defense team is turning to the public for funding, we are still waiting on a ruling from Judge Gull about whether or not Allen’s attorneys Baldwin and Rozzi will be held in contempt of court for leaked information last year. If Judge Gull finds them in contempt, she could throw them off the case.