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County Prosecutor in Charge of Delphi Murders Case Dismisses His Critics: ‘We Have a Very Solid Case’ Against Suspect Richard Allen

Richard Allen

Richard M. Allen appears in a mugshot.

The prosecutor pressing forward with murder charges against Richard Matthew Allen, 50, in Indiana’s Delphi Murders issued a statement in defense of his mostly secret case on Wednesday.

The statement, published by Indianapolis FOX affiliate WXIN, reads as follows:

The Carroll County Prosecutor’s Office appreciates the Judge hearing our arguments yesterday morning and looks forward to her ruling. As I stated in court yesterday, we strongly believe the evidence shows Richard Allen was involved in the murder of Libby and Abby. Because the investigation is ongoing and given the intense public interest in the case, we think it would be best if the documents remain sealed. Regardless of the ruling, we believe we have a very solid case against Mr. Allen and look forward to making our argument in trial.

The statement says Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland believes Allen “was involved” in the twin murders of Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and her friend Liberty “Libby” German, 14, and that roughly tracks with the felony-murder-style legal theory enshrined in the specific subsection of Indiana law under which Allen is charged.

Liberty German and Abigail Williams. (Images via the FBI).

Liberty ‘Libby’ German and Abigail ‘Abby’ Williams. (Images via the FBI).

Allen, under Indiana Code § 35-42-1-1(2), is accused of killing “another human being while committing or attempting to commit” another crime or crimes, including “arson, burglary, child molesting . . . kidnapping, rape, robbery, human trafficking, promotion of human labor trafficking, promotion of human sexual trafficking, promotion of child sexual trafficking, promotion of sexual trafficking of a younger child,” or “child sexual trafficking.”

As Law&Crime noted in a previous report that unpacks the charges against Allen, it is unclear from the docket precisely which underlying offense or offenses is alleged in the Delphi case — but the list of possibilities contained within the statute is harrowing.

A photo shows the Monon High Bridge in Delphi, Indiana.

A screengrab from WTHR-TV and YouTube shows the Monon High Bridge and a small memorial for the two young teens killed nearby.

German and Williams vanished while walking the Monon High Bridge Trail near Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017. The trail traverses an abandoned stretch of what once was the Monon Railroad and crosses an old trestle.

It was on or near the trestle that the two girls disappeared.  The girls’ bodies turned up on Feb. 14, 2017.

It is possible that kidnapping is alleged as the underlying crime because the authorities long ago publicized a brief video clip recorded by German of someone saying “guys, down the hill.”  Most of the clip has never been made public, nor have many other details about the grim case.

A photo shows a person of interest in the Delphi Murders

A man appeared on a brief video clip recorded by Libby German before she died. The FBI and local authorities released only a few seconds of the recording and a short clip of what is believed to be the man depicted here saying “guys, down the hill.” (Image via the FBI.)

Wednesday’s statement by prosecutors was a thinly veiled attempt to bolster the case after two defense attorneys for Allen sharply criticized what currently remains locked in a court clerk’s file.

Much of the criticism was aimed at a request by prosecutors — and, subsequently, an order by a judge — to keep the probable cause affidavit against Allen sealed long after his arrest.  A coalition of news organizations and even Allen’s attorneys have sought to release the allegations so that the public can inspect them and subject them to the type of scrutiny prosecutors must normally face when charging a defendant.

Sealed records are not rare, but it is rare to keep an accusatory instrument fully sealed after an arrest.

Prosecutors suggested that others might have been involved in the crime when positing rationale for keeping the file closed during a Tuesday hearing.

Andrew J. Baldwin, a defense attorney for Allen, called the charging document “flimsy” while speaking to reporters after a hearing to ascertain whether or not the document should remain secret.  A judge will issue a decision on that issue at a later date.

Richard Allen

Richard Allen exits court on Nov. 22, 2022. (Image via WTHR-TV/YouTube screengrab.)

Baldwin said he and his co-counsel Brad Rozzi were “not impressed” with the way the affidavit attempts to tie his client to the double murder.

“It may be weird for defense lawyers, I suppose, to be arguing that we want things unsealed, but that’s how confident we are in our client,” Baldwin also said.  “That’s how confident we are that the evidence contained, at least what’s written in the probable cause affidavit, is nothing for us to worry about. We don’t know what other evidence is out there, but we’re confident that whatever is out there is not going to be enough to show that our client did anything here.”

Baldwin said Allen is “confused” and “bewildered” about why he’s being charged and has told his attorneys that he’s innocent.

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Aaron Keller holds a juris doctor degree from the University of New Hampshire School of Law and a broadcast journalism degree from Syracuse University. He is a former anchor and executive producer for the Law&Crime Network and is now deputy editor-in-chief for the Law&Crime website. DISCLAIMER:  This website is for general informational purposes only. You should not rely on it for legal advice. Reading this site or interacting with the author via this site does not create an attorney-client relationship. This website is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney. Speak to a competent lawyer in your jurisdiction for legal advice and representation relevant to your situation.