DELPHI — Attorneys for Richard Allen, the man accused of murdering Abby Williams and Libby German in 2017, have filed a request to have the trial moved outside Carroll County, arguing that doing so would reduce the likelihood of jury bias.
The motion states in part that a large percentage of Delphi and/or Carroll County residents may have actively participated in the search for Abby and Libby and therefore "may have information concerning the layout of the area searched that could infect the jury, and have opinions based upon their involvement in the search for the victims."
It continues to claim that residents from counties further away likely were not as invested and would therefore have a greater chance of remaining impartial.
"Although it could be argued that the amount of publicity that this particular case has received in the past 5+ years will make it difficult to find a jury that has not heard of this case, Richard Allen’s defense team has gleaned statistical data that would strongly indicate that moving the case/trial just 150 miles away would significantly reduce the likelihood of obtaining a tainted jury pool," the motion states.
To date, the documents in the case have been sealed under a court order following a request by Caroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland.
Allen's attorney's cited that request as part of their argument for why the trial should be moved, claiming that McLeland "recognize(s) the magnitude of interest and publicity in this case and the practical problems associated with the interest and publicity in Carroll County."
WRTV has reached out to McLeland's office for comment.
A copy of the full motion can be viewed here:
Special Judge Fran Gull heard both sides of the argument last week but made no decision on whether to keep the documents sealed, instead saying she would review both sides and make a written ruling later.
McLeland has argued that the Delphi investigation offers "extraordinary" circumstances due to its national and international attention and that unsealing the documents puts the state, the public and the ongoing proceedings at risk.
McLeland also argued that information within the probable cause, including testimony from Indiana State Police, and named witnesses who were juveniles at the time, could both hinder the investigation and put those witnesses at risk.
During last week's hearing, McLeland stated that there may have been others involved in Libby and Abby's deaths.
Who is Richard Allen?
Allen, who is charged with two counts of murder, has lived in the Delphi community for at least 16 years.
Property records show Richard and his wife Kathy Allen have owned the home, currently valued at $171,800, since 2006. The home is a half-mile from Delphi Community Middle School where Abby Williams and Libby German attended.
Allen’s house is also 2.5 miles from the Monon High Bridge Trail, where Abby and Libby disappeared and were later found dead.
According to ISP, Allen was taken into custody Wednesday, Oct. 26 by the Delphi Double Homicide Task Force and then transported to Carroll County Jail. He was later transported to White County Jail, where he's currently being held.
According to online court records, an initial bond was set at $20 million for Allen on Oct. 28. On Monday, Oct. 31 Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland spoke during the official press conference and said Allen was being held without bond.
On Monday, Nov. 21 Allen's lawyers requested a bail hearing for their client.
Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin, who are co-representing Allen, asked that Allen be released on his own recognizance or to have a reasonable bail set.
This story will be updated.