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'The likelihood for a tainted jury pool is excessive' | Richard Allen's attorneys file motion for change of venue in trial

Allen's lawyers cited "extensive media attention" and a high percentage of Carroll County residents who have been involved in some aspect of the case.

DELPHI, Ind. — Richard Allen's attorneys filed a motion Monday night for a change of venue for his trial in the killings of Libby German and Abby Williams, according to court documents obtained by 13News.

In the motion, attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi cited "the extensive media attention" of the case and stated that 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." 

However, the lawyers stated that they have obtained 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."

Credit: Provided by family
Libby German and Abby Williams

In the motion, the lawyers state that Google Trends and Google Ads data shows roughly 50% of Carroll County residents conducted online searches of Allen during October following his arrest, compared to less than 4% of Fort Wayne residents.

The lawyers also argue that "the likelihood for a tainted jury pool is excessive" due to the small number of residents in Carroll County juxtaposed against the high percentage who have been involved in some aspect of the case.

At the end of the motion, Allen's lawyers stated they believe the best means to avoid a tainted jury pool is to move the case at least 150 miles from Carroll County.

Allen's defense team spoke to the media following last week's hearing on whether to publicly release the probable cause affidavit in the Delphi murders case.

Baldwin 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."

Credit: Li Buszka
Sketch artist Li Buszka sat in the Carroll County Courthouse Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in the hearing on the decision to keep the court documents sealed in the Delphi murders case.

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."

Credit: Indiana State Police
Richard M. Allen, 50, of Delphi.

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. 

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