DELPHI, Ind. — For the first time, investigators have released evidence to implicate Richard Allen in the murders of Libby German and Abby Williams during a kidnapping near the Monon High Bridge east of Delphi on February 13, 2017.
In charging information and a Probable Cause Affidavit ordered released by Special Judge Fran Gull, Carroll County Prosecutor Nicholas McLeland contended that Allen’s charges of two counts of felony murder were the result of an accompanying aggravating act, the abduction of the girls who were walked from the bridge to a nearby secluded piece of property where their bodies were found along the banks of Deer Creek.
Last week McLeland argued before the judge that releasing the PC could jeopardize the ongoing investigation because he believed Allen wasn’t the only person involved.
“When I read the PC, I saw no evidence of another person,” said retired IPD Homicide Commander Robert Snow. ”As a former homicide commander myself, I’m not sure why they’ve kept everything so secret.”
What the PC does reveal is that an unfired bullet possibly ejected from a gun owned by Allen was found at the murder scene between the bodies of the girls.
Allen told investigators he didn’t know how the bullet was present at the site, that he is unfamiliar with the location and he has never loaned his gun to anyone.
On 47 seconds of video of the suspected killer captured on Libby’s cell phone, the voice of one of the girls is heard referring to the presence of a gun.
Investigators have never revealed how the girls were killed, though a search of Allen’s house turned up a gun, knives, clothing and boots.
”If he had a gun and there’s an unspent bullet, it means he didn’t fire and he put a new shell in and he was obviously gonna use the gun, or did use the gun, he actually tried to fire a gun and it makes you wonder if the gun, after he ejected a shell, the gun didn’t work at all,” said Snow. ”My theory on what happened is, he tried to shoot them and the gun obviously jammed… and he probably panicked then and then he realized his gun didn’t work and they were gonna get away…and I’m sure at that time they realized and he realized that gun was no longer a threat, he couldn’t fire it.”
Investigators also quoted several witnesses who spotted a man matching Allen’s description near the Monon High Bridge that day, including one who said that, “the male subject was wearing a blue colored jacket and blue jeans and was muddy and bloody. She further stated, that it appeared he had gotten into a fight,” when the witness spotted him in the minutes after investigators believe the killings occurred.
“Investigators believe Richard Allen was the male seen by (a witness) and the male seen in (Libby’s) video,” reads the PC.
”Have they matched that voice to his?” asked Snow. “We don’t really know.”
What is not explained is what led investigators to suspect Allen more than 5-and-a-half years after the killings and conduct a search warrant at his home outside of Delphi on Oct. 13.
”Everybody who has followed the case at all is curious as to why in such a small little town it took that long to actually put their target on him,” said Snow. “That is a good question.”
The PC confirms that Kathy Allen spoke to detectives and admitted that her husband owned guns and knives and a blue Carhartt jacket like that worn by the suspected killer in the cell phone video.
”There is no doubt that he was there and a lot of people saw him, described him, and he even said he was there and they have his car parked there on video,” Snow surmised.
A Probable Cause Affidavit needs to establish only a reasonable assumption of a suspect’s involvement in a crime, not necessarily conclusive proof, so as to convince a judge to issue an arrest warrant.
While some new evidence, such as the discovery of the girls’ clothes in Deer Creek, was revealed, the PC is notable for what it does not indicate.
”I’d want to know, were the victims sexually assaulted?” said Snow. “Okay, if they were sexually assaulted, there should be DNA there. And I would also want to find out the exact cause of death. Were they shot to death? Or was the gun there just to intimidate? Were they killed some other way? There’s all kinds of things that need to be answered.”
Other legal experts consulted by CBS4 News pronounced themselves singularly unimpressed with the content of the PC which Indiana State Police Superintendent Doug Carter said, “would stand up on its own.”
”Once the person is charged and starts to go to court, the defense will put a discovery motion which means then the prosecutor has to give the attorney all the evidence they have on the case,” said Snow, “but that’s a distance down the road yet.”
Late Monday night, Allen’s attorneys filed a motion for a Change of Venue, contending media coverage and the familiarity of the populace of Carroll County with the case, the witnesses and investigators would make it impossible to seat a jury.