Indiana man confessed to murders of teenage girls in phone call with his wife, documents say


INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indiana man charged with killing two teenage girls confessed multiple times to the murders in a phone call to his wife while in prison, according to court documents released Wednesday.

Richard Matthew Allen allegedly told his wife, Kathy Allen, in an April 3 phone call that he killed Abigail Williams, 13, and Liberty German, 14. The two teenagers’ bodies were found Feb. 14, 2017, just outside of their hometown of Delphi, Indiana — about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis, in Carroll County.

“Investigators had the phone call transcribed and the transcription confirms that Richard Allen admits that he committed the murders of Abigail Williams and Liberty German,” reads a motion filed April 20 by Carroll County prosecutor Nicholas McLeland. “He admits several times within the phone call that he committed the offenses as charged. His wife, Kathy Allen, ends the phone call abruptly.”

Allen County Judge Fran Gull, assigned to the case after the original judge recused himself, allowed public access to more than 100 filings in the case for the first time on Wednesday.

The documents were under seal from a gag order Gull issued in December 2022, prohibiting attorneys, law enforcement officials, court personnel, the coroner and family members from commenting on the case.

Gull’s order stated she withheld releasing the unredacted probable cause affidavit filed by prosecutors outlining the allegations against Allen because it includes the names of juvenile witnesses.

The redacted probable cause affidavit released in November 2022 states an unspent bullet, which “had been cycled through” a pistol Allen owned, was discovered between the girls’ bodies. In an October 2022 search of Allen’s home, investigators seized his .40-caliber pistol that he purchased in 2001.

The girls’ injuries were “caused by a sharp object,” according to another unsealed document released Wednesday. Also included in the list of items police seized from Allen’s home in the October 2022 search were about a dozen knives, some described as double-edged or folding knives.

Allen was arrested in October 2022 on two counts of murder. A relative had dropped the girls off at a hiking trail near the Monon High Bridge on Feb. 13, 2017, and their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, heavily wooded area near the trail. Their deaths were ruled a homicide.

McLeland alluded to Allen’s confession in a June 15 hearing in Delphi, but Allen’s defense attorneys, alleging abuse at the correctional facility he has been housed at since November 2022, attributed the admissions to his declining mental state.

Allen’s attorney Brad Rozzi said at the hearing that since Allen’s incarceration in the Westville Correctional Facility in Westville, Indiana, Allen has been treated more stringently than other inmates. Allen’s lawyers filed an emergency motion in April requesting he be relocated, citing in court filings a “dramatic change in Mr. Allen’s condition, including his change in demeanor, change in appearance and change in his overall mental status.”

They said his “incriminating” statements were the result of this stressful environment.

McLeland questioned whether changing facilities would benefit Allen, as he said it may not be “any different” than his treatment at the Westville Correctional Facility.

Law enforcement officers and the warden of the facility testified that the constant surveillance and physical restraints they use are for Allen’s safety. They said they believe he could be a target of other inmates because the case involves children.

“The allegations in the Defendant’s motion, while colorful and dramatic, are not entirely correct,” states a court filing from McLeland on April 14, unsealed on Wednesday.


Arleigh Rodgers is a corps member for the Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.

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