DELPHI — After nearly six years, the arrest of a suspect in the Delphi murders has raised many questions.
For right now, Judge Benjamin A. Diener has ordered all documents, including the probable cause affidavit, sealed in the case against Richard Allen.
Allen was charged with two counts of murder on Oct. 28 in connection with the 2017 deaths of Libby German and Abby Williams.
An online petition to keep the evidence in the case sealed has nearly 39,000 signatures.
"We want to be able to have a fair trial for the defendant and for the prosecution. If our prosecutor feels that it's necessary to seal these documents for the time being, then I believe in him," Becky Patty, Libby's grandmother, said.
Patty says she supports the First Amendment, but she's concerned that internet sleuths and others will hurt the case even with redactions.
"It's going to be tough enough for them to be witnesses; they don't need the extra stress," Patty said. "I have seen that there are people out there that have said that our prosecutor is doing this to protect the family so that we don't have to see what's in there and that's not the case. He wouldn't do it; he wouldn't do it just for our feelings. This case is too important and we wouldn't want him to do it."
On Wednesday, Allen requested a public defender to represent him.
Diener later asked to recuse himself from the case. In an order, Diener went on to address the "public bloodlust for information," calling it dangerous and saying all public servants working on the case do not feel safe or protected.
The order went on to state that the public's desire to learn about the case and access court records was "inherently disruptive" to court operations.
According to court records, the hearing to unseal records for Richard Allen has been set for Nov. 22.
Allen is scheduled to go on trial starting March 20, 2023.