UPDATE (11/9/23): Special Judge Fran Gull asked the court for an extension to respond to the petition for writ of mandamus and motion for transcript. The judge asked the state’s Supreme Court for a Nov. 27 deadline due to the complexity of the matter with the respondent’s counsel.
Attorneys for Richard Allen filed a subsequent objection to the extension, saying the judge’s counsel has had plenty of time to prepare their response.
Thursday afternoon, the Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court granted Judge Gull’s request for an extension to Nov. 27 and ordered she either release transcripts from the closed-door hearing with attorneys or explain why she wanted to keep them sealed by that time.
“No further requests would be granted,” the order read.
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Supreme Court told the judge overseeing the Delphi murder case to provide a transcript of a closed-door meeting last month or explain why it shouldn’t be part of the public record.
The same court-appointed Special Judge Fran Gull last year to oversee the case after the original judge recused himself.
She has until Nov. 16 to file her response to the court’s order.
Richard Allen faces two counts of murder in the February 2017 deaths of Abby Williams and Libby German near the Monon High Bridge. Indiana State Police announced his arrest in October 2022.
Since then, the case has worked its way through the legal system. One of the most recent developments involved an evidence leak attributed to a former associate of one of Allen’s defense attorneys.
The leak drew the ire of Gull, who accused Allen’s attorneys—Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi—of “gross negligence” in handling evidence. While Gull informed the public during a dramatic Oct. 19 proceeding that Baldwin had withdrawn and Rozzi planned to do the same, both later said Gull forced them to step away from the case.
They argued Gull threatened to ruin their professional reputations during the closed-door meeting that preceded her announcement in court. In effect, they claimed they had no choice but to withdraw.
In late October, Gull announced that two attorneys from Fort Wayne would replace Allen’s original defense team. She said Baldwin and Rozzi were officially off the case.
Other lawyers, acting on behalf of Rozzi and Baldwin, want to see a transcript of what transpired in Gull’s chambers on Oct. 19. But they were turned down, with Gull telling them the hearing was not in open court and confidential in nature.
That transcript is at the center of the latest legal filing in the case.
In a separate filing, Allen’s lawyers have asked the Supreme Court to review Gull’s handling of the proceedings, accusing her of violating public access by keeping some filings secret. They also seek reinstatement and Gull’s removal from the case.
At the request of Allen’s new defense team, Gull pushed back Allen’s trial to October 2024. It had been scheduled to take place in January.