CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. – Defense attorneys for Delphi murder suspect Richard Allen want key evidence against their client thrown out.
In an amended motion to suppress, attorneys Bradley Rozzi and Andrew Baldwin contended that the search warrant granted for Allen’s home on North Whiteman Drive was invalid and all evidence stemming from that search should be suppressed.
Allen’s attorneys initially filed a motion to suppress in May, although a hearing on that motion was continued a month later. The new motion, filed this week, expands on the defense’s reasoning for having the evidence tossed out.
Police searched Allen’s home on Oct. 13, 2022. The state later filed two murder charges against him, using a gun found during the search as a key piece of evidence.
Allen is accused of killing Abby Williams and Libby German near the Monon High Bridge in February 2017. The case went unsolved for years until Allen’s arrest came to light in October 2022.
In their filing, Allen’s attorneys stated their belief that law enforcement lacked probable cause to obtain the warrant and questioned the constitutionality of the search.
From the motion:
The issuance of the search warrant was result of an improper ex-parte application for the search warrant in that the Affiant, Sheriff Tony Liggett, failed to advise the issuing Judge of material facts and made false and misleading representations with reckless disregard for the truth. Without these false and misleading representations and omissions, search warrant would not have been issued.
Defense attorneys argued that the probable cause affidavit failed to establish a crime had been committed and that specific evidence could be found in Allen’s home. They believe the search violated Allen’s constitutional rights, resulting in an illegal search and seizure.
The search warrant, signed by Carroll County Judge Benjamin Diener, who later recused himself from the case, authorized police to “diligently search for any and all information and/or evidence of the crime of Murder in violation of I.C. 35-42-1-1; specifically to search for handguns, .40 caliber ammunition, knives, blue sweatshirts/jackets, black sweatshirts/jackets, clothing, electronic devices and cell phone with phone number 317-612-4533; any other cell phones; and any other electronic devices located in or on the locations described above. Law enforcement is authorized to search these areas to determine whether or not there has been violation committed as described in the affidavit at the residence, in the yard, the vehicle and any appurtenances.”
In the motion, Allen’s attorneys argued the warrant and probable cause affidavit failed to establish specifically what police were looking for. They contended the items named in the search could have come from any home. From the filing:
The affidavit submitted in support of the search warrant failed to provide particular information that particular items related to the particular crime would be found in Defendant Allen’s home, but rather provided generic information concerning generic items that could be found in the Defendant Allen’s home, or any other home, potentially, in Indiana.
Allen’s attorneys believe the search violated the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution. Both involve unreasonable search and seizure. They also cited the Fourteenth Amendment, the equal protection clause.
Allen’s trial is set for January 2024. In a separate motion filed this week, his attorneys asked the judge to allow cameras in the courtroom.