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Delphi Murder Suspect Richard Allen Wins Transfer After Saying He Was Being Treated Like 'Prisoner Of War'
Lawyers for Richard Allen, accused of killing teens Abigail Williams and Liberty German in 2017, blasted his housing conditions while in pretrial detention, saying "in sum, Mr. Allen is being treated far less favorably than a convicted person."
A judge granted a prison transfer request for Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen after his attorneys argued that his physical and mental health is deteriorating because of “prisoner of war” conditions imposed upon him.
Allen, 50, faces two counts of murder in the 2017 slayings of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German, whose bodies were discovered along the Delphi Historic Trails in Indiana, a day after they were dropped off there so they could take a walk. Allen, a Delphi resident, has maintained his innocence in the case.
Police investigated the killings for more than five years until they arrested Allen in late October. Prosecutors allege in a probable cause affidavit reviewed by the Lafayette Journal & Courier that an unfired bullet found at the crime scene can be linked to a pistol Allen owns; a tool marking on the round could only have been created by Allen's weapon, they said.
Special Judge Frances C. Gall of Carroll Circuit Court signed off on an order to move Allen to Cass County Jail after his attorneys filed a motion on April 5 detailing his deteriorating state during his stay in isolation at the Westville Correctional Facility, according to reporting by the Journal & Courier.
The attorneys' motion included two photographs of their client: one before his arrest on Oct. 26 last year in which he appears healthy, and another taken in early April this year. Shackled and a red jumpsuit, Allen appears markedly more gaunt in the second photograph.
Allen was ordered to remain in pretrial detention in November while he awaits trial, according to the Journal & Courier. He has a bond hearing scheduled for June 15.
In the request, Allen's defense team laid out what they consider substandard living conditions he's been forced to endure, writing that he sleeps on a pad on a concrete floor and is "entombed in a cell as small as a 6ft in width by 10ft in length." He hasn't been allowed to see his wife or family since his arrest and is forced to wear the same clothes which are "soiled, stained, tattered and torn" for "days and days on end, " according to the motion reviewed by ABC 7 Chicago.
"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," the attorneys wrote.
When his attorneys visited him in prison on April 4, they wrote, they noted a "steep decline" in his demeanor and abilities to communicate and fear his living conditions will hinder his ability to assist in his own defense, they wrote.
"Simply put, this version of Richard Allen was a very different person than counsel for Mr. Allen had interacted with over the past five months," they wrote.
He was suffering from memory loss and exhibiting symptoms his attorneys described as "schizophrenic and delusional," they wrote. His living conditions would "drive any human to mental breakdown."
A date for Allen's move to a different facility hasn't been set.