Judge: ‘Cannot … will not’ reinstate defense attorneys. Delphi murder trial pushed back
Two sets of defense attorneys showed up Tuesday to represent Richard Allen, accused in murders of Abby and Libby. Judge cites ‘gross negligence,’ rejects initial team’s attempt to stay on pro bono.
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JUDGE: ‘CANNOT … WILL NOT’ REINSTATE DEFENSE ATTORNEYS. DELPHI MURDER TRIAL PUSHED BACK. STILL IN PLAY: A REQUEST FILED WITH INDIANA SUPREME COURT TO REVIEW
Right at 9 a.m., when a status hearing in Richard Allen’s Delphi murder trial was scheduled to start, attorneys Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin entered from a back door to Carroll Circuit Court and strode to the defense table, briefcase carts in tow, like they were supposed to be there.
They shook hands with Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland and prepped for the session, a day after filing a petition with the Indiana Supreme Court to call into question what they called Judge Fran Gull’s coercion and a strong-armed move less than two weeks ago to shame them into withdrawing as Allen’s attorneys.
The night before, the pair also had filed paperwork with the court saying they intended to switch their status from court-appointed to private counsel. They wrote that they wanted to represent Allen pro bono, so as not to waste “well over 1,000 hours of time spent reviewing evidence” since October 2022 and not delay a jury trial for the Delphi man accused in the 2017 murders of middle school friends Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14.
Rozzi and Baldwin sat at the defense table for 35 minutes after the hearing was supposed to start until the arrival in the courtroom of Robert Scremin and William Lebrato. Those Fort Wayne lawyers were assigned last week to step in as Allen’s new court-appointed attorneys, after Judge Fran Gull announced to a courtroom that Rozzi and Baldwin had withdrawn from the case.
After a mess of court motions pitting the judge and the defense team in the past week, the scene had the making of a showdown by the time Allen was brought into court, quiet in shackles and a yellow jail jumpsuit other than to whisper, “Hi,” to his wife, Kathy, sitting along the aisle.