Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen faces 4 new charges. Why that matters

Ron Wilkins
Lafayette Journal & Courier
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LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Delphi suspect Richard Allen was charged Thursday with two additional counts of murder and two counts of kidnapping in the 2017 killing of Libby German and Abby Williams.

Prosecutors first charged Allen with murder while committing a felony in October 2022. But prosecutors did not file the charge of kidnapping the girls — the felony alleged in the initial murder charges — until Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland did so Thursday afternoon.

Prosecutors also added two counts of murder, which is defined as knowingly or intentionally killing another person, according to Indiana law.

The distinction between the two types of murders is that murder in the commission of a felony accuses Allen of kidnapping 14-year-old Libby and 13-year-old Abby, forcing them off of the trails east of Delphi near the Monon High Bridge, and in the process of the kidnapping, the girls were killed. Under that charge, prosecutors wouldn't necessarily have to prove Allen was the actual killer.

Officers transport murder suspect Richard Allen during a hearing regarding sealed documents, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, at Carroll County Courthouse in Delphi, Ind.

The charges of murder filed Thursday accuse Allen of the act of killing the girls on Feb. 13, 2017, on the banks of the Deer Creek, about a quarter of a mile east of the Monon High Bridge.

If convicted on all four counts of murder, he can only be sentenced on two murder counts, and all four charges carry the same possible sentence: between 45 and 65 years in prison. Additionally, the kidnapping charges carry a possible prison sentence of between three and 16 years if convicted, according to Indiana law.

McLeland filed a request with the court on Thursday to amend the charging information to add the four additional charges. Special Judge Fran Gull has not yet ruled on the motion.

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"The State is asking the Court for leave to file these Amended Charges because the charges more accurately aligns the Charging Information with the cause's discovery and probable cause affidavit," McLeland wrote in his pleading filed with the new charges.

McLeland's pleading for the new charges indicated that Allen and his legal team have been aware of the possible addition of new charges and that the additional charges do not prejudice Allen's rights.

Allen's legal team reverted back to his original public defenders — Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin — after Thursday's Indiana Supreme Court hearing and subsequent ruling. Allen petitioned the Supreme Court for his original attorneys after Gull removed them on Oct. 31, 2023.

"... (T)he trial for this matter is 9 months away, giving Defense adequate time to prepare to defend the amended charges," McLeland wrote.

Allen's trial is scheduled to begin in October.

Reach Ron Wilkins at Follow on Twitter: @RonWilkins2.

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