‘Prisoner of war’: Attorneys for Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen want him moved to Cass County facility

He relocated to a fresh site, where Allen Richard is suspected of the murder in Delphi, according to attorneys representing their client, who claim his mental and physical state is declining. This is in Westville, Indiana.

Due to the prominent nature of his case, he was designated to the establishment for security purposes. Allen’s legal team argues that their client has suffered from unfavorable circumstances at Westville Correctional Facility in an urgent motion submitted on Wednesday.

They want to move him to Cass County Jail, stating that it would be better for their client’s well-being as well as for logistical reasons.

A booking photo shows Richard Allen, was arrested in Oct. 2022 and charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Abby Williams and Libby German, whose bodies were found on Feb. 14, 2017, after the girls went for a walk on the Delphi Historic Trails. (Indiana State Police via AP)

In February 2017, in Delphi, Allen is confronted with two charges of homicide in relation to the fatalities of Abby Williams and Libby German. After an extended period of over five years, Allen’s apprehension was made public in late October 2022, and the investigation remained unresolved for several years prior to the tragic incidents.

As per the urgent request, Allen has been resting on a cushion on a solid ground in a cell measuring 6 feet by 10 feet, which is of a size comparable to that of a dog kennel, as stated by his lawyers. He has been incapable of seeing his spouse or other relatives and frequently goes days without changing his attire.

Allen makes calls to his family members through a tablet that is monitored by prison officials if he can afford any little time for recreation outside his cold metal and concrete quarters.

The attorneys argued that Allen’s mental and physical health conditions impair his ability to mount a defense. They said they have to travel for “hours” to see their client and described him as isolated.

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“It is difficult, if not impossible, for Mr. Allen’s Attorneys to share confidential and sensitive information with Mr. Allen due to the logistical challenges associated with Mr. Allen’s segregation and isolation to the extent that Mr. Allen is being deprived of his constitutional right to assist in his defense.”

Many criminals, including Allen, argue that they are housed in less secure areas than those who are convicted more favorably, and they are provided with contact visits and services with their family and friends.

FILE – Officers escort Richard Matthew Allen, out of the Carroll County courthouse following a hearing, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022, in Delphi, Ind. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

As per the motion, his defense lawyers have observed a “significant decrease” in his capacity to communicate and contribute to his defense. Overall, they have regarded Allen as courteous, communicative, and cheerful “despite his wrongful arrest and situation.” Lately, they have observed a shift in Allen’s behavior.

Mr. Allen’s counsel had interacted with the motion for the past five months, and there was a significantly different version of Richard Allen’s account.

His lawyers suspect that he is experiencing communication difficulties and seems to be experiencing memory impairment. To illustrate their observation of Allen’s deteriorating state, they presented two photographs: one captured a year or two prior to his arrest, while the other was taken on April 4, 2023. The second photo, taken on April 4, depicted Allen looking thin and frail.

Left: Richard Allen a year or two before his arrest: Right: Richard Allen on April 4, 2023

In the motion, his lawyers stated, “resemble those of a war captive, the circumstances in which Mr. Allen has been compelled to tolerate.”

Allen, who had no objections to relocating closer to his family, was contacted by Prosecutor Nick McLeland. They said that attorneys from his defense team would regularly see him and that he would have better access to them. They found space for Allen’s attorneys in the Cass County Jail, which is about 20 miles away from the Carroll County Courthouse.

The Carroll County Sheriff’s Department, on the other hand, declined to have Allen moved out of the Westville facility, his attorneys said.

Mr. Allen asserts that the motion claims deliberate attempts to impose conditions upon him, which would create hardship and drive any human to a mental breakdown, in order to frustrate his defense against the allegations charged against him.

Lawyers stated that Allen’s present circumstances are impracticable for a proficient legal representation due to the sheer amount of evidence requiring examination–which encompasses 3,000 pages of law enforcement reports, numerous hours of surveillance footage and interrogations, and more than 31,000 leads concerning the case.

His attorneys are asking the court to authorize Allen’s relocation to the Cass County Jail before he “is placed in further jeopardy.”.

Richard Waples, an attorney who has no association with the case, concurred that Allen seemed to be deteriorating.

Waples stated, “He appears to be rapidly deteriorating.” Not only do his rights to humane treatment and confinement come into play, but also his rights to a fair trial and legal representation. It is crucial for him to be able to work with his lawyers in order to defend himself against the charges brought against him.

Judge Waples believes that as long as Allen agrees to move, he is convinced that Sheriff Cass County and Jail County Cass are equipped to securely hold the accused.

Waples stated, “If the county next to him receives this grant, they believe it would be possible for me to have a fair and impartial trial. The judge wants to ensure that it is indeed fair, and the prosecutor also desires a fair trial for this man.”