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Indiana judge set to decide whether to unseal court filings that led to the arrest of the 2017 Delphi murders

An Indiana judge said Tuesday she will soon decide whether to unseal court documents leading to the arrest of a man in the 2017 murder of two teenage girls, while a prosecutor urged the court to keep the documents sealed , as others may be involved in the case.

Special Judge Fran Gull said she would rule on the matter “in haste” after hearing arguments from lawyers for 50-year-old Richard Matthew Allen and the prosecutor. Gull acknowledged that there is significant public interest in the case against the Delphi, Indiana man who was arrested last month and charged with double murder in the killing of 14-year-old Liberty “Libby” German and 13-year-old Abigail “Abby” Williams.

The probable cause affidavit and information on the charges against Allen have not been released publicly since they were sealed last month at the request of Carroll County Attorney Nicholas McLeland.

DELPHI MURDERS: WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT SUSPECT RICHARD ALLEN

McLeland said during Tuesday’s hearing that authorities “have good reason to believe” Allen is not the only person linked to the murders. He said if the affidavit was released without redactions, witnesses could be harassed.

Gull — an Allen County judge who was assigned to the case after a Carroll County judge, where Delphi is located, resigned – held a hearing in Delphi on Tuesday to decide whether the documents should be released. She scheduled a Feb. 17 bail hearing for Allen, whose attorneys filed a motion Monday for bail so he could be released before trial.

John McGauley, a spokesman for Gull, said the judge could not comment further on the case because it is ongoing and there is no timeline by when she could decide whether to release the documents.

Indiana police officers escort Richard Matthew Allen out of the Carroll County Courthouse after a hearing November 22, 2022 in Delphi, Indiana.  Allen was charged with double murder last month.

Indiana police officers escort Richard Matthew Allen out of the Carroll County Courthouse after a hearing November 22, 2022 in Delphi, Indiana. Allen was charged with double murder last month.
(AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Andrew Baldwin, an attorney for Allen, said after the hearing that “our client is the wrong guy.” Standing outside the courtroom, he said the sealed probable cause affidavit was “thin” and “you expect more than what I saw.”

DELPHI DOUBLE MURDER SUSPECT RICHARD ALLEN MAY NOT ACT ALONE: PROSECUTORS

Baldwin said Allen had pleaded innocent to him.

The district attorney’s office and the district secretary’s office did not immediately respond to requests for additional information.

On October 31, authorities announced the arrest of Allen, who lives in Delphi and works at a pharmacy in the town of about 3,000 people about 60 miles northwest of Indianapolis.

The killings of the two local girls in February 2017 have ravaged the community. A relative dropped them off at a trail near the Monon High Bridge, just outside Delphi. Hours later, they didn’t show up at their pickup location. The next day, their bodies were found in a rugged area near the trail.

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The girls’ deaths were ruled a homicide, but police have never released how they were killed or what evidence was gathered. At the press conference announcing Allen’s arrest, police declined to answer questions about what led them to Allen, citing the sealed records and their ongoing investigation.

Several news organizations, including The Associated Press, filed a brief with the court on Monday, urging Gull to unseal the probable cause affidavit and file information on the prosecution that would show what evidence authorities have that Allen connect to the murders.

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