Delphi Murders Case: Judge Gull Faces Crucial Deadline Amid Legal Challenges and Health Concerns

Allen County Superior Judge Fran Gull, appointed to preside over the trial of Richard Allen, the suspect in the 2017 Delphi murders, confronts a significant deadline the Monday following Thanksgiving. In late October, Allen’s attorneys requested the Indiana Supreme Court to remove Judge Gull from the case, citing potential violations of Allen’s constitutional rights and his right to a speedy trial under Indiana law.

This legal motion came in the wake of Judge Gull’s appointment to the case, aimed at ensuring stability following the highly-publicized arrest of Allen, five and a half years after the discovery of Abby Williams and Libby German’s bodies, who were found stabbed in a wooded area near the Monon High Bridge in Delphi.

The original defense team experienced friction with Judge Gull, acknowledging their “zealous” defense approach and admitting to a few inadvertent evidence leaks, including one confirmed in September. This leak involved the distribution of crime scene photographs to social media, leading to the suicide of one individual involved in the leak.

Recently released transcripts revealed Judge Gull’s intent to remove the defense team before her October announcement, where it was stated that the lawyers had “voluntarily withdrawn from the case.” Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi, who had been Allen’s co-counsels since November 14, 2022, were removed in October.

A transcript of a confidential meeting held in Judge Gull’s chambers before the October 19 hearing was made public last Monday. This release followed Rozzi’s plea to the state’s highest court, alleging that Judge Gull had “ambushed” and “coerced” him and Baldwin to withdraw during this private meeting.

The complexity of the case led the state’s Supreme Court to extend Judge Gull’s deadline to respond to the petition to November 27. This extension was also due to Attorney General Todd Rokita’s office declining to represent Judge Gull in this matter. Rozzi and Baldwin are actively seeking to be reinstated as Allen’s counsel and are petitioning for Judge Gull’s removal and for the trial to occur within 70 days.

Meanwhile, Judge Gull has appointed a new defense team for Allen and rescheduled the trial from January 2024 to October 2024. Additionally, a Westfield man, Mitchell Westerman, 41, faces charges for allegedly leaking sensitive crime scene photos related to the Delphi murders online.

Amidst these developments, FOX59/CBS4 reported that Judge Gull had been dealing with health issues, including hospitalizations, and had been working from home following treatment for an urgent medical condition. She consulted a doctor on November 2, after feeling unwell for several days, having met with the Delphi case attorneys two days prior. Other Allen County judges have been assisting with Judge Gull’s caseload during her absence, and she is expected to return to office soon. There has been no indication that her health concerns will impact the upcoming deadline for filings with the Indiana Supreme Court.

Author: CrimeDoor

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