DELPHI, Ind. — Richard Allen's attorneys released a statement Thursday after receiving numerous media inquiries about the case and ongoing investigation. They described the statement as their "thoughts" about the investigation into Allen.
The statement started by declaring their client's innocence, noting that he's never had legal trouble in the past.
"He is innocent and completely confused as to why he has been charged with these crimes," the attorneys wrote.
The attorneys wrote that it was Allen who notified police about his presence on the trails near the Monon High Bridge the day Libby and Abby went missing, that he tried to help the investigation on more than one occasion, including a conversation with a conservation officer about seeing three girls on the trail. The probable cause affidavit released this week mentioned three people who came across a man on the trail the day Libby and Abby disappeared.
The attorneys also noted that Allen did not dispose of his guns, car or clothes, all of which were mentioned in court documents, in the five years since the girls' deaths.
"He did not alter his appearance; he did not relocate himself to another community. He did what any innocent man would do and continued with his normal routine," the statement read.
READ MORE: Richard Allen's attorneys issue statement
The defense team also questioned some of the evidence referenced in the probable cause, including the bullet found at the crime scene that was linked to one of Allen's guns, claiming the method of ballistics used to connect the two items is "unreliable and lacking any scientific validity."
The attorneys also claim one of Allen's vehicles, a Ford Focus which was identified as having been parked near the trail when the girls went missing, doesn't match the description given by witnesses who saw the parked vehicle.
"His Ford Focus is not, in any way, similar to the distinctive look of the PT Cruiser or Smart Car that was described by the witnesses," the statement read. "It seems that the CCSD is trying to bend facts to fit their narrative."
Later Thursday, Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby responded to the attorneys' letter.
"I feel a court of law is the proper and impartial setting for this matter to be vetted and not within the dominion of speculation or assumption of a public or social media arena. Patience and time must be afforded to the system, granting all aspects of the case to be brought to light," Leazenby said.
Request for change of venue, gag order
Allen's attorneys filed a motion on Nov. 29 for a change of venue for his trial, according to court documents obtained by 13News. The judge will discuss the motion in a Jan. 13, 2023 hearing.
The prosecution filed a request for a gag order on Nov. 22 for the following individuals involved in the case:
- Law enforcement officials
- Court personnel
- Family members
The judge had planned to make a ruling on the motion during the Jan. 13 hearing, but after the defense team's lengthy statement Thursday, she issued a gag order Friday.
The order applies to the aforementioned individuals until the Jan. 13 hearing, when she will review the order to decide if it should remain in place.
Anyone who violates the gag order could be held in contempt of court and is subjected to a fine and/or incarceration.
Allen's defense team spoke to the media following the Nov. 22 hearing on whether to publicly release the probable cause affidavit in the Delphi murders case.
Andrew Baldwin, defense attorney for Allen, said he wants the documents publicly released because his team is "not impressed" with the lack of evidence in the document.
"You're gonna read that probable cause affidavit, online or wherever they get it, and hopefully that's gonna ring a bell for somebody to help us out because he is innocent. He has told us that very emotionally."
During the hearing, the prosecutor revealed his belief that others may be involved in the murders.
"We believe Richard Allen is not the only actor involved in this," Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland said.
"I mean, that's new news," Baldwin said after the hearing.
When asked if that was reflected in the probable cause affidavit, Baldwin replied, "not the PCA that I read."
Baldwin said Allen and his family have been "tremendously" impacted by his arrest.
"His wife is just a wonderful person, and she loves her husband. They've been married for over 30 years. They were basically high school sweethearts. They love each other, and she fully supports him," Baldwin said. "But it is devastating. She's scared. She doesn't want to leave her house."
Baldwin maintained that Allen is not the person responsible for the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German.
"Our client's the wrong guy," he said.
Baldwin recognized it may be unusual for defense attorneys to push for more information being unsealed, but he said that points to how confident they are that Allen is not guilty.
"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," Baldwin said. "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" at the accusations against him. He also said Allen had plenty of supporters, and they've received many calls from people who don't believe Allen is responsible for the murders.
"I've got a guy here who says he's innocent ... and what I would say, a very flimsy probable cause affidavit. Those are the two things that I do know," Baldwin said.
The special judge decided to take the defense's motion under advisement. The judge said she will release an order at a future time. A Feb. 17 bond hearing was also scheduled for Allen.