Accused Delphi murderer crowdfunds more than $15,000 in 2 days to pay for expert witnesses


Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin, Judge Fran C. Gull (WTHR screenshot); Richard Allen (Carroll County Detention Center)

Attorneys involved in the defense of accused Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen have turned to crowdfunding to help pay for expert witnesses, claiming the presiding judge has refused multiple requests for funds.

The Payit2 site, which went live on Tuesday, had raised $15,710 of its stated $25,000 goal as of Wednesday afternoon and is the latest bizarre development in one of the most high-profile cases in the history of Indiana.

Allen is facing murder charges in connection with the February 2017 slayings of Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, and Liberty “Libby” German, 14, whose bodies were discovered in a wooded area just off the Delphi Historic Trails system.

Williams and German vanished while walking the Monon High Bridge Trail near Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017. The trail traverses an abandoned stretch of what was once 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, and their deaths were determined to be homicides.

The public donations are being solicited to make the case “a fair fight,” because Special Judge Fran C. Gull has been denying the defense teams request for funds and reimbursements, according to defense attorney David R. Hennessy, who represents Allen’s attorneys Brad Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin in their own contempt of court case.

In a statement to Indianapolis NBC affiliate WTHR, Hennessy emphasized that 100% of the funds will go toward paying for experts to consult or testify in court.

“It won’t go to the attorneys, and it won’t go to [Richard Allen],” he said.

The fundraising site states that Allen “maintains he did not commit” the murder of Abby and Libby, but that he has been forced to invest “everything he has to fight for his freedom and for justice for both victims of this heinous crime.”

“He is presumed innocent until proven guilty through a court of law and has an absolute right to a fair trial, which is currently being violated,” Hennessy wrote on the page. “Funds are being raised to pay expenses related to expert fees and costs.”

Rozzi and Baldwin earlier this month filed court documents alleging that Gull was violating Allen’s right to a fair trial by denying them proper funding and requested an order “designed to provide parity in the resources available for investigation and presentation of litigation” in the case

“This Court’s denial of funding ensures an unfair, inequitable trial,” they wrote in a March 17 motion.

Rozzi claims that he’s already spent more than $51,000 of his own money on the case which has yet to be reimbursed. Additionally, Allen’s attorneys allege that requests to fund consultations with experts in ballistics, digital data, and criminal psychology have all been rejected by Gull.

In contrast, the attorneys also emphasized that the state has near limitless resources at its disposal, with the county prosecutor giving himself, his chief deputy, and his secretary raises due to the workload of the Delphi case.

To combat the alleged disparity, Allen’s attorneys have requested that Gull approve all of their submitted and anticipated funding requirements. If that request is denied, the attorneys asked that the state be proscribed from calling such expert witnesses and introducing evidence that would require the defense to call its own expert witness, or order Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland to personally pay for such experts.

“Its unheard of, as far as I know, for the defense lawyers in a case as big as this would not be paid by the court, would not have their experts approved by the court,” Professor Michael Ausbrook of the Indiana University Maurer Law School told Indianapolis Fox affiliate WXIN. “It’s probably a constitutional violation in motion.”

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