On Tuesday, June 18, 2024, WTHR reported that defense attorneys for Richard Allen filed a notice of conflict with Judge Frances Gull in the ongoing Delphi murder case. Allen has been charged with the February 2017 murders of Abby Williams and Libby German in Delphi, Indiana. His trial has been plagued by delays and disputes between the defense team and Judge Gull.

According to court documents, Allen’s public defenders informed Judge Gull that they intend to call her as a witness in future hearings. The defense lawyers claim testimony from Judge Gull will be important to show instances where law enforcement has allegedly acted in bad faith and violated Allen’s constitutional rights.

Specifically, the defense argues Judge Gull has direct knowledge that the Carroll County Sheriff’s Office provided fabricated information in a June 2023 report. The report stated the judge advised leaving a prison inmate at the facility rather than bringing him to court to testify, but Judge Gull recently contradicted this claim. Allen’s lawyers assert the judge was aware of false facts submitted by law enforcement, calling into question her ability to remain impartial.

As a result, Allen’s attorneys announced plans to question Judge Gull directly about the inmate testimony issue. However, legal experts note it would be highly unusual for a sitting judge to also serve as a witness, especially regarding their own credibility. The defense team maintains Judge Gull should recuse herself from the case due to this conflict of interest.

In a 21-page response filing, Allen’s lawyers provided further arguments for the judge’s recusal. They cited instances of alleged bias from Judge Gull toward the prosecution and law enforcement. For example, the defense claims the judge failed to reprimand investigators over the fabricated report but continues criticizing minor errors by Allen’s attorneys.

Judge Gull is also accused of denying defense motions and requests for hearings, showing favoritism in granting breaks to prosecutors over the defense and making dismissive facial expressions directed at Allen’s legal team during proceedings. The filing aims to correct inaccuracies from the judge’s prior order refusing to recuse herself.

Allen’s attorneys state they may request cameras be allowed in the courtroom to better document interactions between Judge Gull and the differing legal parties. His defense team asked for a speedy hearing to determine if Allen can be transferred from state prison to a local jail pending his upcoming trial.

The latest filings continue what has become a contentious relationship between Judge Gull and Richard Allen’s public defenders. His trial was originally scheduled for January 2024 but has since faced multiple delays, in part due to these ongoing judicial disputes. The families of Abby and Libby have expressed frustration with the stalling of the legal process.

For now, Allen remains incarcerated as his defense and the court work to resolve questions over the judge’s impartiality and other pre-trial matters.

 

 

Source: WTHR