UPDATE: Judge Diener has recused himself from the Allen case. Judge Fran Gull of Allen County will step into the role. This is the state issued to the media regarding this decision:
In my role as the Supreme Court Public Information Officer I have worked with many of you related to questions about both trial and appellate work. I appreciate your many efforts to ensure accurate information is conveyed to the public through your reporting.
As you know, judges (and staff) cannot speak about an ongoing case. However, procedural information can be provided. I am sending this email in an effort to provide you with accurate procedural information.
First, court information can be found at mycase.in.gov. Case information and certain documents are available to the public. Confidential cases and confidential records are not available through the public portal.
Second, trial court judges can recuse from a case (for a variety of reasons) through an order. That order is public record. A judge does not have to explain a reason for recusal. When that occurs, the Indiana Supreme Court appoints a Special Judge to hear the case (through its Office of Judicial Administration).
In case 08C01-2210-MR-1, Carroll County Judge Benjamin Diener has recused. The Indiana Supreme Court is in the process of appointing Allen County Judge Fran Gull, as Special Judge in the case. Neither Judge Gull nor Judge Diener can speak to press about the merits of the case.
Indiana Supreme Court
Chief Public Information Officer
Office of Communication, Education, and Outreach”
ORIGINAL ARTICLE BELOW
DELPHI, Ind.–Richard Allen, the man arrested and charged with murder in the killings of Abby Williams and Libby German, was moved Thursday from a county jail to a state facility, at the request of Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby. Allen was moved for his safety. according to Judge Benjamin Diener.
Diener noted that Allen was in protective gear during his initial court appearance to protect him from the public.
The judge also criticized people for demanding information about the case.
“This judicial officer keeps getting direct requests from non-parties for “public information,” claiming that this officer has seven (7) days or one (1) day, when hand delivered, to respond to the request or face litigation!,” wrote the judge of himself.
He wrote in his order that YouTube videos have been created about him.
“While this officer is responsible for the entirety of the Circuit Court docket it attempts to ignore the maelstrom of “interest” from the public, it is known that YouTube already hosts content regarding family members of this judicial officer, including photos,” he wrote, then adding some words for the public at large.
“The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous. ALL PUBLIC SERVANTS administering this action do not feel safe and are not protected,” he wrote.
Diener said that all public information will be available the “minute it exists”.
“Most of the “public interest” consists of people attempting to raise their status or profit financially,” he said. “When the public peddles misinformation with reckless abandon, we all are not safe.”
The probable cause and charging documents against Allen have been sealed. A hearing to determine whether that information will be unsealed is set for Nov. 22.
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