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Prosecutor in Delphi murders case fights to keep jailhouse confessions as evidence

Delphi murders trial: Focus on suspect Richard Allen’s confessions

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The prosecutor in the Delphi murders case is fighting the defense team over whether or not the future jury will be told about Richard Allen‘s confession to the murders of two teen girls.

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.

The biggest piece of new information News 8 learned from a court filing is the sheer number of people Allen has confessed to while being held in jail awaiting trial.

According to the prosecution, he’s confessed to 16 guards, eight inmates, a warden, Indiana State Police officers, and mental health personnel.

“It’s really as if this man is just going on and talking to anyone who is listening and making incriminating statements,” said Kevin Greenlee, a co-host of the Murder Sheet Podcast.

In a court filing, Allen’s defense team argued that his confessions were a violation of his constitutional rights because they were coerced out of him.

The prosecution is fighting against that idea in a recent court filing.

“They’re basically arguing that therefore these statements should be allowed to remain in because they don’t meet the conditions that would basically be violating his rights,” said Aine Cain, a co-host of the Murder Sheet Podcast.

Also at issue in these dueling court filings is how many of the confessions should be allowed to be shown to a jury.

“In the defense filing, they ask for a blanket ruling that every statement he made while he was incarcerated should be ruled inadmissible and the prosecution is saying, ‘No, not so fast. What we need to do is look at each statement individually and if you can make a case that an individual statement to a particular person should be suppressed, then maybe just suppress that one,’” Greenlee said.

Special Judge Fran Gull from Allen County will likely have to decide which people Allen confessed to could be seen as a “state actor,” because, if they’re a state actor, the circumstances of the confession could potentially violate Allen’s constitutional rights.

“A police officer in an interrogation is obviously a state actor, but is an inmate who’s there to keep an eye on him for suicide watch is that a state actor? Or is that just a person doing a function who just happens to hear a voluntary statement? That’s what she really needs to look at and consider,” Greenlee said.

The special judge has yet to decide whether she will hold Allen’s attorneys in contempt of court for the leak of crime scene photos that came from their office last October.

Allen’s trial is set to begin May 13 in Delphi. Jurors from Allen County will hear the case. The trial is scheduled to last through May 31.