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Delphi murder suspect wins transfer after alleging jailers treat him like a ‘prisoner of war’

Richard Allen prior to his incarceration (left) and on April 4, 2023 (right) (Carroll County Circuit Court filing)

Richard Allen prior to his incarceration (left) and on April 4, 2023 (right) (Carroll County Circuit Court filing)

A judge in Indiana has ordered accused Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen to be transferred to a different state correctional facility after his attorneys argued that he was being held in conditions “akin to those of a prisoner of war” in order to frustrate his ability to defend himself at his upcoming trial.

In an order issued Friday, Special Judge Fran C. Gull granted Allen’s request to modify the safekeeping order regarding his pretrial detention to “accommodate his medical and physical needs pursuant to medical directives by the Department of Correction physicians, psychiatrists, or psychologists.”

Judge Gull’s order did not specify where Allen would be moved.

Special Judge Fran C. Gull's order on Richard Allen's prison transfer request.

Special Judge Fran C. Gull’s order on Richard Allen’s prison transfer request.

The order came in response to a motion filed earlier this month by Allen’s attorneys which made numerous claims about the conditions he’s faced since being housed at Westville Correctional Facility following his arrest in November 2022.

The lengthy list of grievances alleged in the April 5 motion included that Allen is forced to sleep on a pad laid atop a concrete floor, is only allowed showers twice weekly, has been prohibited from seeing his wife or family, and is permitted very limited recreation time.

“Mr. Allen has been entombed in a cell as small as a 6ft in width by 10ft in length, a space no larger than that of a dog kennel,” the motion stated. “In sum, Mr. Allen is being treated far less favorably than a convicted person, many of which are housed in less secure areas of the prison, are offered programming, therapy, and mental health services, routine recreation, and contact visits with family and friends.”

“Mr. Allen asserts that said denial is a deliberate attempt to impose conditions upon him that are intended to frustrate his purpose in defending against the charged allegations and create a hardship on him which would drive any human to mental breakdown,” his attorneys wrote. “Said approach to his pre-trial detention is a direct infringement on his Sixth Amendments rights under the U.S. Constitution.”

Allen is facing two counts of murder in the twin 2017 slayings of Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and her friend Liberty “Libby” German, 14, whose bodies were discovered in a wooded area just off of the Delphi Historic Trails system.

Abby and Libby vanished while walking the Monon High Bridge Trail near Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017. The trail traverses an abandoned stretch of what once was the Monon Railroad and crosses an old trestle over a small river or creek. The girls were found dead the next day in an area near the trestle.

Allen’s next hearing is currently scheduled to take place on June 15.

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Jerry Lambe is a journalist at Law&Crime. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and New York Law School and previously worked in financial securities compliance and Civil Rights employment law.