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Law expert: Developments in Delphi case will delay trial for months

Legal expert: Lawyers quitting case extremely rare

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A law professor at Indiana University predicts Richard Allen’s trial could be delayed until at least April 2024.

Defense lawyers Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi left the case Thursday. Allen faces two counts of murder for allegedly killing teenagers Abby Williams and Libby German in 2017. Their bodies were found in a wooded area outside Delphi, Indiana.

Jody Madeira, a professor of law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, said she doesn’t think it’s a coincidence the lawyers quit the case just days after sensitive documents and pictures from the case were leaked.

“I believe those events are connected, although it’s unclear at this point exactly how, and it’s not something that we really want to speculate on,” said Madeira.

Judge Frances Gull ordered Allen’s former attorneys to cooperate with Allen’s new counsel.

Madiera said if they don’t cooperate, the new attorneys could be starting from scratch.

“There is a nicety in the legal profession where the attorneys of record who worked on this case before are asked to cooperate, but that is not something that they have to do, that is something that they can choose to do, nor do they have to turn over any of their prior work product,” said Madeira.

The new attorneys will inherit the various motions that have been filed, including a change of venue and a motion to allow TV cameras into the courtroom during the trial.

Madiera said lawyers may also withdraw from a case if their client isn’t cooperating

“If the criminal defendant is difficult to work with, than an attorney may ask to withdraw. Just because they feel like they cannot maintain a relationship, that will allow them to be a zealous advocate for their client,” said Madeira.

A judge doesn’t have to allow a lawyer to leave a case, but in the Richard Allen trial, Madeira believes allowing a change of counsel may help speed up the proceedings.