On Thursday, February 8, 2024, WishTV reported that the Indiana Supreme Court found that the special judge handling the Delphi Murders trial did not adequately demonstrate that removing Richard Allen’s original defense attorneys was a necessary last resort.

The Supreme Court issued a written opinion outlining their rationale for overturning Judge Frances Gull’s decision to remove attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi from Allen’s case in October 2023. The new standards established require that disqualification of counsel must be shown to be a last resort, necessary to protect the defendant’s constitutional rights, and that the interests in disqualification outweigh any prejudice to the defendant.

In Allen’s case, the high court did not find Judge Gull provided sufficient evidence that removing Baldwin and Rozzi met these standards. Specifically, the opinion stated that while prosecution and the judge cited a leak of evidence from the defense team’s office as a reason, they failed to explain how this undermined Allen’s defense or showed the attorneys were incompetent. The court also noted simpler options like fines or contempt charges were available before outright removal.

Legal experts quoted in the article said the Supreme Court ruling established a higher bar for judges to disqualify defense counsel going forward. It also reinstated Baldwin and Rozzi as Allen’s lawyers after they had accused Judge Gull of effectively forcing them off the case.

In other developments, a hearing in the high-profile case of Liberty German and Abby Williams’ 2017 murders was moved to mid-March. At that time, Judge Gull will consider prosecutors’ efforts to add new charges against Allen as well as contempt of court filings against Baldwin and Rozzi related to the evidence leak. Richard Allen continues to plead not guilty and is awaiting trial currently set for October. The Supreme Court also denied Allen’s separate request to have Judge Gull removed from presiding over the trial.

 

 

Source: WishTV