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Here are the key issues that could be decided Thursday when Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen returns to court

Richard Allen was arrested last October and charged with the 2017 murders of teenagers Abby Williams and Libby German.

DELPHI, Ind. — Defendant Richard Allen will be back in court Thursday morning for an important day of hearings in the Delphi murders case. 13News will have several reporters inside the courtroom to explain what happened and what it means.

Allen was arrested last October and charged with the murders of teenagers Abby Williams and Libby German, whose bodies were found near the Delphi Monon High Bridge in February 2017.

Here are the other key issues that might be addressed during Thursday's hearing:

Setting a trial date

13News has learned a trial date will likely be set for sometime within the next six months, and Richard Allen’s trial could start as early as mid-fall.

This portion of the hearing is expected to last only a few minutes.  

Motion to suppress ballistics evidence

UPDATE: The judge will not be deciding on this issue during the June 15 hearing.


Richard Allen’s defense team filed a motion this week to suppress key evidence found at the murder scene. 

The state’s probable cause affidavit says the Indiana State Police crime lab tested a gun found inside Allen’s home, and test results show that same gun is linked to an unfired bullet that investigators found between the bodies of the two teenage victims. 

Allen’s attorneys have raised questions about the science used to link the gun to the bullet at the crime scene. Thursday, the defense and the prosecutor will be able to present evidence about the reliability of the ballistics testing so the judge can rule whether that evidence will be admissible.

Any decision from Judge Frances Gull will be preliminary and regardless of her ruling, the admissibility of ballistics evidence can be (and probably will be) revisited before or during trial. 

This portion of the hearing is the most complex and is expected to last several hours.

Whether Richard Allen should remain in a state prison while awaiting his trial

The defendant’s attorneys say keeping Allen in a segregation unit at a maximum security prison 90 minutes from Carroll County has put his physical and mental health in extreme jeopardy

They want their client moved back to a county jail or another secure facility closer to Delphi. 

The judge did not grant that request at an earlier hearing, but she will reconsider the state’s “safekeeping order” Thursday. 

The defense will argue why a maximum security state prison is inappropriate for a defendant with no prior criminal history, while the Carroll County prosecutor will present evidence to support Allen remaining in the Westville Correctional prison or a similar facility. 

In addition to hearing arguments about the defendant’s safety, Gull will also consider whether housing Allen in a maximum security prison is violating due process and his right to fair trial based upon a “motion for due process” filed by Allen’s defense team. 

Depending on the amount of discussion and testimony, this aspect of the hearing could take an hour or longer.

Approval of defense expert witnesses

After the public court hearing, the judge will meet privately with Allen’s lawyers to discuss expert witnesses the defense team wants to hire to prepare for trial and to testify in Allen’s defense. 

The judge has to approve the defendant’s expert witnesses because Allen’s attorneys and any experts they hire are being paid for with public tax dollars. The cost of the defense could total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The hearing at the Carroll County Courthouse is scheduled to begin Thursday, June 15 at 10 a.m. and could last all afternoon.

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