CARROLL COUNTY, Ind. — In a letter written to the Carroll County Clerk, dated April 11, an inmate at Westville Correctional Facility claimed that Richard Allen was being abused and mistreated by inmates and guards alike.
The inmate said prison guards would call Richard Allen “a kid killer” while also teasing him by claiming that he had family visiting.
The inmate went on to claim that prison staff even went as far as recording other inmates as they mocked Allen and told him to kill himself or threatened his life.
Allen, who is accused of killing Libby German and Abby Williams in February 2017 deaths near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi, was moved to Westville in November after the Carroll County Sheriff requested his transfer into the care of the Indiana Department of Correction.
Allen was put on “suicide watch” when he first arrived at Westville but later was taken off the watch after prison officials determined that his mental health had improved. His day-to-day demeanor was quiet, court documents state, detailing that Allen read books, did crossword puzzles and exercised daily.
But on April 3, Allen made a phone call to his wife and reportedly admitted “several times” to killing Abby and Libby. The call was ended abruptly by his wife.
Allen’s attorneys argued the admissions weren’t reliable due to his great physical and mental duress. But prosecutors said the change in behavior wasn’t noted until after the April 3 phone call to his wife.
After April 3, Allen reportedly began to go days without eating and refused to sleep. The warden said Allen began to act “strangely.” He would wet down paperwork given to him by his attorneys and eat it. He also quit making phone calls, when previously he would make up to two calls a day. He even broke the tablet he used to make calls and send texts.
But while prosecutors said Allen didn’t begin to act strangely or deteriorate mentally until after his “admission” on April 3, a letter written and sent by Allen himself not long after his arrest showed early signs of stress brought about by his incarceration.
In Allen’s letter to Carroll County, the accused murderer threw himself at the mercy of the court in asking for a public defender. Allen revealed how his wife had to abandon their home “for her personal safety” after word of his arrest broke to the public.
In addition to the fear for his wife’s safety, Allen wrote about the financial hardship and the stress he was now under. How “what little revenue there is will fail to even maintain the original residence,” showing the prisoner’s realization that he was likely to lose his home. A home his wife could no longer even stay in without risk to her safety.
In the months that followed that letter, the weight and reality of the accusations would only grow. Allen’s defenders have argued it is these stresses that led to his deterioration. That led to Allen shedding weight and becoming nearly unrecognizable from his initial booking photo.
Allen is scheduled to go to trial for the Delphi murders in January 2024.
View the prison letters below.