What to know about Richard M. Allen trial, Delphi murders as court date approaches (2024)

Jenny Porter Tilley,Ron WilkinsIndianapolis Star

UPDATE: The trial for Richard Allen has been delayed. Read more here.

DELPHI, Ind. — It's been seven years since two young girls — Liberty "Libby" German and Abigail "Abby" Williams — went missing during a hike to the Monon High Bridge.

After they didn't return home, their bodies were found on the morning of Valentine's Day along Deer Creek.

In the years that followed, multiple composite sketches made the rounds. Investigators looked at various suspects, including the owner of a fake social media profile. Podcasters discussed theories about the killings. A small Indiana community looked for ways to remember and honor the teens who were lost. And the two girls' families prayed for answers.

Timeline of events: Here's what's happened in the case against Richard Allen in the Delphi murders

News that an arrest had finally been made came on Halloween in 2022. Officials arrested local CVS employee Richard M. Allen, charging him with murder in both Liberty's and Abby's deaths.

Since the arrest, Allen's criminal case has been a flurry of motions, court orders, sealed documents and lawsuits leading up to a murder trial that's currently scheduled for May. Here's where the case stands now.

Who are Libby German and Abby Williams?

The two teenage girls were eighth-graders at Delphi Community Middle School. Both were avid softball players, and after their deaths, the community named a new softball park after them. Family members say their favorite colors were teal and purple, and ribbons in those colors have been used over the years in remembrance. A memorial service and lantern release for both girls took place in February 2017.

According to her obituary, Libby also played volleyball, soccer and swimming. She participated in band, Academic Bowl and loved arts and crafts and vacations.

Abby's obituary said she participated in band and volleyball, and she and her family went to several area churches. Abby was an avid reader and enjoyed photography, art and decorating her mom's home. She loved the outdoors and animals — especially her cat, Bongo.

Who is on trial for the Delphi murders?

When state police announced they arrested Richard M. Allen in connection with the girls' deaths, Delphi community members recognized the face they saw in the news as a man who worked at a local CVS pharmacy. One local woman said she regularly saw Allen picking up lunch at the McDonald's next door.

Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen: Indiana town wants answers about man who 'blended in'

What are the charges against Richard Allen?

Richard Allen was initially charged with two counts of murder while committing a felony (kidnapping), one for each victim. In January, prosecutors requested to add two additional counts of kidnapping, which were later dropped.

Prosecutors also added two counts of murder. Unlike the original murder charges, these two counts only accuse him of the act of killing the girls. The first murder counts filed in 2022 accuse him of murder in the commission of a felony, meaning the girls died in the process of a kidnapping. In those charges, prosecutors would not have to prove that Allen was the actual killer, only that he participated in kidnapping Abby and Libby.

In March, prosecutors dropped the request to add kidnapping charges. Allen now faces four charges: two counts of murder; and two counts of felony murder.

Richard Allen murder charges: Judge dismisses kidnapping charges against Delphi murder suspect

State vs. Richard M. Allen: When and where is the trial?

Richard Allen's trial was initially scheduled for January 2024, then was delayed until October. But in March, Allen's attorneys requested an earlier trial date. Special Judge Frances Gull rescheduled the trial for May.

Although the trial will take place in Carroll County, jury selection will not include local residents. Jurors will be selected out of Allen County and bused to Carroll County.

Why did police charge Richard Allen?

A probable cause affidavit in Richard Allen's 2022 arrest links him to the crime scene. It said an ejected .40-caliber shell casing matched a pistol owned by Allen.

When police interviewed Allen, he told them no one else ever used the pistol, according to the court document. He had told police in 2017 that he'd been on the trails the afternoon the girls were killed.

Delphi double murder investigation: Document links Richard Allen to scene

Delphi murders court documents

A chronological case summary for the murder charges is available at mycase.in.gov. The case number is 08C01-2210-MR-000001; it was filed in Carroll Circuit Court.

Authorities released a redacted probable cause affidavit in November 2022.

Authorities released 118 pages of documents related to the murder trial in June 2023.

Anyone with information about the case is encouraged to email abbyandlibbytip@cacoshrf.com. Find more information on the Indiana State Police website.

CONTRIBUTING: Lafayette Journal & Courier reporter Noe Padilla; IndyStar digital operations manager Joe Mutascio; IndyStar reporters Kristine Phillips, Sarah Nelson and Kayla Dwyer.

What to know about Richard M. Allen trial, Delphi murders as court date approaches (2024)
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