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Judge in Delphi murders case calls ousted defense team grossly negligent

Judge in Delphi murders case calls ousted defense team grossly negligent

DELPHI, Ind. (WISH) — A new defense team has been named in the Delphi murder case.

The original defense attorneys assigned to Richard Allen, the man accused of the 2017 murders of teens Libby German and Abby Williams, are off the case. The girls were found stabbed to death in February of 2017 near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. Allen, 51, was arrested in October 2022. He has maintained his innocence in the case.

Fran Gull, the special judge from Allen County assigned to this case, said Tuesday in open court that Allen’s ousted attorneys’ gross negligence led to a leak of sensitive documents.

Investigators announced the arrest of Allen a year ago.

After a hearing Tuesday morning, we know it will be another year before he faces a jury. 

Attorney Brad Rozzi left the Carroll County Courthouse with nothing to say. He was right behind Attorney David Hennessy, who was hired to keep Rozzi and Attorney Andrew Baldwin as Allen’s defense team.

In court Tuesday morning, Gull ripped into Rozzi and Baldwin for their attempts to stay on the case, calling their actions as Allen’s defense attorneys grossly negligent.  

Twelve days ago, Gull made the surprise announcement in court that Allen’s defense team had withdrawn following a leak of documents and crime scene photos.

Both lawyers claim the judge carried out a premediated ambush and coerced them to withdrawal.

Allen wrote an impassioned letter to the judge pleading to allow attorneys Rozzi and Baldwin to remain as his defense team.

But in court Tuesday, Gull told Allen that she could not and would not allow Rozzi and Baldwin to stay on the case. The judge didn’t offer a reason in court for her decision.  

Hennessy argued that Rozzi and Baldwin were not given proper due process and the judge’s decision violated the Constitution.

Baldwin left the courthouse with a message to the press: “Journalism. It is time for you guys to start being journalists.”

Baldwin has been critical of the lack of transparency in this case, and Allen this week asked the Indiana Supreme Court to intervene in a 22-page brief. Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush on Monday asked for any briefs on Allen’s request be filed on or before Nov. 9.

Allen was brought down the stairs of the Carroll County Courthouse flanked by sheriff deputies and Indiana Department of Correction guards. Allen’s appearance was the first in public since June.  

His new defense team, the third assigned to this case, have agreed to an Oct. 15 trial date. A number of hearings are expected to happen prior to the trial date.