FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A motion by an attorney for Richard Allen asking that a special judge appointed to oversee the accused child-killer’s case be removed will soon be stricken from the court’s record, according to a new filing Friday.
Allen Superior Court Judge Fran Gull – who is overseeing the Carroll County-based case which has garnered national attention – ordered the filings claiming she “ambushed” and “coerced” Allen’s defense team to drop out last week be removed from the case docket.
Attorney Bradley A. Rozzi made the motion to remove Gull from the proceedings Thursday, claiming he was still acting as Allen’s defense attorney.
In her own filing Friday, though, Gull wrote:
“Court notes filings by former Attorney Rozzi on October 25, 2023, and takes no action. Attorney Rozzi withdrew from this matter on October 19, 2023, and is no longer counsel of record. These filings, therefore, are ordered stricken from the record. Clerk of the Court ordered to remove the pleadings from the electronic case file and the Chronological Case Summary as being filed in error.”
Allen is charged with two counts of murder in the February 2017 deaths of 13-year-old Abby Williams and 14-year-old Libby German.
The girls’ bodies were found near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi, and for years investigators released nuggets of evidence in an effort to solve the killings which have been heavily featured in news headlines and podcasts ever since.
When a Carroll County judge recused himself from the case, Gull was appointed as a special judge.
While the case has mostly played out in court filings and a few hearings in Delphi, attorneys for Allen and Carroll County prosecutors convened here in Allen County for a hearing before Gull last week.
Topics for that hearing were slated to include the possible leaking of information to a well-known podcast as well as some other odds and ends related to the court schedule.
That hearing, however, never happened.
Instead, Gull announced that one of Allen’s attorneys, Andrew J. Baldwin, was “voluntarily withdrawing” from the case and that Rozzi would be submitting his withdrawal in the days to come.
Rozzi, though, in his filing this week claimed Gull “ambushed” the defense team during a conference in her Fort Wayne chambers just prior to the scheduled hearing with allegations of “gross negligence,” forcing Baldwin’s resignation and ordering Rozzi to do the same.
Rozzi called for Gull’s disqualification by the Indiana Supreme Court and claimed he had no intention of stepping down.
In the filing, Rozzi claimed Allen’s defense attorneys were not permitted to defend themselves in open court due to the public shaming that would result from Gull’s admonishment and also claimed she ruled unethically in sealing several pro-defense documents from open record.
With her ruling Friday and a plan to appoint new counsel for Allen in the near future, Rozzi’s filing might have trouble gaining any more traction.
It was the latest in a case that has seen its share of twists and turns since Allen’s arrest.
Interviewed by investigators shortly after the discovery of the bodies, Allen supposedly admitted to being near the Monon High Bridge near the time of the killings, according to court documents.
But his interview may have been misfiled or mislabeled and was lost for years until investigators went through the casefile again.
Recently, Allen’s attorneys made court filings trying to pin the killings on people practicing Odinism. They claimed the girls were “ritualistically” sacrificed by someone or others within the cult.