INDIANAPOLIS — Public knowledge of the investigation into the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German took a major turn this week as the defense for prime suspect Richard Allen laid out their own theory about what they say happened to the two victims.
Former Marion County Deputy Prosecutor Denise Robinson said not only is the size of this document surprising, but so is the fact that the defense made it public.
”I’ve seen the defense file certain allegations before to support a motion, but not 136 pages and not making specific factual allegations that would rise to offering an alternative defense,” said Robinson.
Inside the documents, the defense lawyers name their own suspects and present evidence from the discovery appearing to connect the possible suspects to each other, the area and Abby and Libby.
Allen’s attorneys claim the men are Odinists – a religion based on ancient Norse customs that has become rooted in white supremacy in the United States.
Robinson said she’s seen defense lawyers name suspects but rarely in a public filing.
”Usually the defense doesn’t outright name possible other suspects or provide any kind of details,” said Robinson.
The defense also filed a motion for a Franks Hearing – claiming now-Carroll County Sheriff Tony Ligget fabricated witness statements and omitted key facts in order to get a search warrant.
Robinson said the attorneys are not required to propose alternative suspects when making this filing.
Robinson said the defense lawyers certainly have a strategy for putting this document out into the public – but she can only speculate.
”I suppose one motive might be to get the police to open up an investigation into the allegation that they make,” Robinson said.
According to the court documents, there could be some movement in that direction. Within the 136 pages, Allen’s attorneys say an investigator did reach out to one of the possible suspects they put forward for an interview. This possible suspect was interviewed at the beginning of the investigation but has not been since.
Robinson said there could be multiple intended purposes for making this document public.
”It might be an attempt to put pressure on the judge who is deciding the issue of the search warrant because it does attract attention,” Robinson said. “It might be to put pressure on the prosecuting attorney to believe that they have to respond to the 130-page document.”
As for what could come next, Robinson said Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland is not legally required to respond but could feel compelled to from the standpoint of public impression.
”Could be as simple as something that denies all the allegations made by the defense and simply asserts that the state is ready to go forward to trial,” Robinson said. “It could be a detailed filing to respond to the allegations.”
Either way, Robinson said the trial needs to take place in the courtroom, not in the public arena or media.