MIAMI COUNTY, Ind. — Two new attorneys have been appointed to represent a Peru man whose alleged child pornography and solicitation offenses were uncovered by investigators looking into the 2017 murders of two young girls in Delphi.
Kegan Kline told Murder Sheet podcasters Aine Cain and Kevin Greenlee that he fired defense attorney Andrew Achey last week after a scheduled sentencing hearing was derailed by Kline’s claim that he had never seen some of the evidence arrayed against him and he was considering withdrawing his guilty pleas to 25 counts including child pornography and child solicitation.
“There was a solicitation charge. I know it wasn’t me. I’ve never talked to that girl,” Kline told the Murder Sheet during a Zoom interview from inside the Miami County Jail. “When I’m out in public I don’t look at teenage girls or kids.”
Investigators claimed Kline was seeking compromising photographs of underage girls.
“Some of the pictures, you know, obviously, I don’t know if they were exploitation or child porn,” Kline said, adding that he is likely guilty of only 7 of the over two dozen charges. “I didn’t have a girlfriend. I was a lonely guy and I started talking to girls online and it just kind of spiraled into something. It’s just crazy.”
Monday’s podcast interview is the first time Kline has spoken locally about the charges against him.
When Kline first entered into his plea agreement with prosecutors earlier this year, he was facing the potential of concurrent sentences for even the most serious crimes, which would carry presumptive sentences of six years.
Citing separate sentences for separate crimes, two weeks ago the Miami County Prosecutor filed a briefing with the Court calling for consecutive sentences which could keep Kline behind bars for decades.
Kline claims that when he arrived at the courthouse for sentencing last week, he was stunned to learn the totality of the evidence arrayed against him and the existence of a previous plea agreement offer of which he was not aware.
“When I don’t see any of this paperwork, it’s like, ‘Are you kidding me?’,” Kline said was his reaction to defense attorney Andrew Achey that day. “And then he was like, ‘Well, they’re not gonna give you a deal,’ …he goes, ‘Well, maybe we should have taken that ten-year plea deal.’ I’m like, ‘Dude, you’ve never told me about a plea ever until right now’.”
Achey refused FOX59/CBS4’s request for comment beyond a letter to his client last week that read, “It was my pleasure representing you and I truly wish you the best of luck moving forward.”
Achey did not list a reason for his withdrawal in a motion filed with Circuit Judge Timothy Spahr. Attorney-client privilege may keep that information from being revealed.
Attorneys William Berkshire and Eric Huneryager have been appointed to represent Kline.
They face a June 8 status hearing before the Court.
An Indianapolis defense attorney not connected to the case said Kline’s new lawyers may have grounds to seek a withdrawal of the previous plea agreement so as to begin a new round of pre-trial hearings.
“Normally most judges in this situation with this type of case will allow a defendant to withdraw his or her guilty plea so the person can be properly educated as to all of the evidence that is pending against him or her,” said Jeff Mendes. “If he is not totally cognizant or aware of the penalty range here if these charges are going to be run concurrently or consecutively, then he may have a good argument to the court that his plea is not being made knowingly and intelligently and therefore the judge should allow him to withdraw his guilty plea and then go forward with more discovery in the case.”
Mendes, who has represented more than a thousand clients before the Court, continued.
“These two new lawyers may not be totally up to par on what’s going on in this case from the last two, two-and-a-half years,” he said. “All his constitutional rights are restored to him, they cannot use the fact that he admitted at his guilty plea hearing that he was guilty of these charges, that will never come back into play. These new lawyers may have to start all over again and he has a constitutional right then to have a trial, bench trial or jury trial and this could delay this case for another two, two-and-a-half years again.”
Kline has never been charged for any role in the murders of Abby Williams and Libby German in Delphi more than six years ago and he told the Murder Sheet he was with his father Tony the day of the killings.
Transcripts of the 2020 interview of Kline by investigators show detectives theorized that someone besides Kegan had access to his social media accounts and conversations with young girls.
One of those communications was with Libby the night before she died seeking a meeting at the Monon High Bridge above Deer Creek where the girls’ bodies were found.
Kline said he met with Carroll County investigators but his information proved useless as “they just said they don’t believe me. They can’t corroborate it in a court of law.”
Delphi resident Richard Allen is currently awaiting trial accused of the murders.
After serving more than two-and-a-half years of pre-trial detention inside the Miami County Jail, Kline claimed he would welcome sentencing to a prison term.
“I’ve been here almost three years,” he said. “I do not want to be here anymore. I’ve heard there’s so much more things to do in prison like education, people to talk to.”
“Everyone hates me in this county. Everyone hates me everywhere.”Kegan Kline
Upon leaving the courtroom last Thursday, for the first time, Kline was walked in shackles through the public hallways of the Miami Courthouse.
“It’s just terrible. Coming out of the courtroom, like the last time they took me where no one would be able to find out how I left the courtroom or got to the courtroom. This time with me right out in the hall, everyone’s yelling at me,” he said. “It’s like, man, it just sucks because I’m not a terrible person. I’ve been charged with terrible things. I’ve messed up in the past, but I’m not a terrible person. Everyone paints me to be a monster…and I’m not.”