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Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen’s defense team withdraws from case after alleged leaked photos

The defense counsel for Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen withdrew from the double-murder case Thursday after allegations that leaked photos of the crime scene came from one of the attorney’s associates.

The gruesome images, which were shared via text and appeared on social media, were taken in the wooded area off the Monon High Bridge Trail in Delphi, Indiana, where Liberty “Libby” German, 14, and Abigail “Abby” Williams, 13, were murdered after they disappeared from a hike on Feb. 13, 2017.

“We’ve had an unexpected turn of events, ladies and gentlemen,” Carroll County Judge Fran Gull said during Thursday’s hearing, which was recorded by FOX 59 Indianapolis. “Earlier this afternoon, the defense attorneys have withdrawn their representation of Mr. Allen.”

Gull ordered Allen, who is entitled to new counsel, to be sent back to Westville Correctional Facility. She also ordered his counsel to send discovery back to the state of Indiana. The attorneys, Andrew Baldwin and Bradley Rozzi, agreed to cooperate with successor counsel, Gull added.

DELPHI MURDERS: POLICE INVESTIGATING ALLEGED LEAK OF GREUSOME CRIME-SCENE PHOTOS

Delphi murder victims

Libby German, 14, and Abby Williams, 13, were killed while biking on trails near Delphi, Indiana, on Feb. 13, 2017. (Indiana State Police)

Baldwin’s attorney, David Hennessy, told Fox News Digital that the attorneys did not “quit” the case but “withdrew under coercive circumstances.”

“They dedicated their lives to an innocent client,” he said.

Hennessy filed a memo Thursday to argue that Baldwin should not be disqualified from representing Allen because they had “developed a strong and trusting bond” prior to his withdrawal.

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“Disqualification of either of his court appointed attorneys would greatly prejudice his right to counsel and a timely trial,” Hennessy said in the filing. “Disqualification of counsel is an extreme remedy for any alleged or perceived violation of a court’s order. Most if not all cases concerning disqualification of counsel involve conflicts of interest.”

Hennessy further argued that Baldwin should not be disqualified when “an individual not part of the attorney’s office or staff surreptitiously purloins information from the attorney and disseminates it without permission or the attorney’s knowledge.”

Richard Allen mugshot

Richard Allen was arrested in October 2022 for the 2017 murders of 14-year-old Liberty German and 13-year-old Abigail Williams. (Indiana State Police)

“The issue before the Court is a horrible tragedy created by persons not related to the defense of Mr. Allen. There were three disseminators, one of which committed suicide after the law enforcement investigation began. It should be considered that nothing has been disclosed that won’t be disclosed at trial or hearings,” Hennessy wrote.

The co-hosts of “The Murder Sheet” podcast, Kevin Greenlee and Áine Cain, were first to report an alleged connection between Baldwin and the photo leak.

Cain added that they did not expect themselves to “preemptively withdraw themselves,” especially because Baldwin brought Hennessy in to defend him. “Obviously, their plans changed quite a lot,” Cain said.

PROSECUTORS IN DELPHI MURDERS CASE CALL PAGAN CULT RITUAL NARRATIVE ‘COLORFUL, DRAMATIC’ AND ‘UNPROFESSIONAL’

Fox News Digital learned this week that a person associated with the photo leak died by suicide, as FOX 59 Indianapolis first reported.

Authorities arrested Allen, 50, in October 2022 for allegedly murdering Libby and Abby, whose remains were found in the woods a day after they disappeared from their hike on the Monon High Bridge Trail.

Richard Allen

Delphi murders suspect Richard Allen is reportedly living in a cell “no larger than that of a dog kennel” and sleeping on a pad on a concrete floor. (FOX 59 Indianapolis)

Prosecutors say evidence from the crime scene matched evidence collected from Allen’s home when police served a search warrant last year. Allen also allegedly confessed to the crimes he has been accused of committing about five times while speaking with his wife over the phone from jail.

DELPHI MURDERS SUSPECT RICHARD ALLEN CONFESSED TO KILLING 2 GIRLS IN JAIL CALLS: COURT DOCS

Allen’s defense, however, alleged in court documents filed last month that Libby and Abby’s deaths were part of a ritualistic sacrifice performed by members of a pagan Odinist cult in Indiana, arguing that branches and other items found at the scene of the girls’ murders were arranged in patterns specific to Odinism.

Prosecutors called the claims “colorful, dramatic” and “unprofessional.”

Officers escort Richard Allen out of court

Allen allegedly confessed to the crimes about five times while speaking with his wife over the phone from jail. (AP Photo / Darron Cummings / File)

Police recovered Libby’s cellphone under her body on Feb. 14, 2017 – a day after the girls went hiking. The phone had a 43-second video that shows Abigail walking on the Monon High Bridge toward Libby while a man wearing a dark jacket and jeans walks behind her. The man can be heard ordering the girls “down the hill,” according to an affidavit.

Libby captured the video at 2:13 p.m., less than 25 minutes after she and Abigail’s family members dropped them off at the trail.

GIRLS KILLED IN DELPHI MURDERS WERE SACRIFICED IN PAGAN CULT RITUAL, DEFENSE CLAIMS

When investigators executed a search warrant at Allen’s home in Delphi on Oct. 13, 2022, they recovered a blue Carhartt jacket, a SIG Sauer P226 .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun and a .40-caliber S&W cartridge in a “wooden keepsake box” from a dresser between two closets his bedroom.

Grainy cell phone video footage and a sketch of a prime suspect in the murder of local Delphi girls

A grainy cellphone video screenshot and a sketch of the prime suspect in the murder of Delphi teens Abigail Williams and Liberty German are posted on the office wall of then-Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby. (Robert Scheer / IndyStar / USA Today Network / File)

The handgun recovered at Allen’s home was consistent with the .40-caliber unspent bullet that police located at the site of the murders in 2017.

A gag order issued on parties involved in Allen’s case has prevented attorneys and police from speaking publicly about details of the murders and allegations against the suspect.

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The next hearing in Allen’s case is scheduled for later this month, according to Gull.

Baldwin did not immediately respond to an inquiry from Fox News Digital, and Rozzi’s office could not immediately be reached.

Audrey Conklin is a digital reporter for Fox News Digital and FOX Business. Email tips to audrey.conklin@fox.com or on Twitter at @audpants.

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