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Delphi Judge Fran Gull

Source: Allen County Court / Screenshot of Allen County court hearing

ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. — You’ve heard about transcripts of a closed-doors meeting between the Delphi judge and former Delphi murders suspect legal team. Those transcripts were released Monday, per the order of the Indiana Supreme Court.

When attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi met with Special Judge Fran Gull in Allen County back on October 19th, 2023, they claim they had no idea that the idea of the meeting could end with their being disqualified from the case and removed as suspect Richard Allen’s legal representation.

That’s exactly what happened that day during the first live, courtroom broadcast in the Delphi murders case.

Judge Fran Gull said Baldwin & Rozzi showed negligence when a former associate of Baldwin’s apparently leaked crime scene photos and evidence online.

Since then, Baldwin & Rozzi have tried to get back on the case, and they want Special Judge Fran Gull removed. The Indiana Supreme Court ordered Judge Gull to release transcripts of the October 19th closed-door meeting.

This is the gist of the transcript.

“…we made changes at my office that will prevent this from ever happening again, you know,” said attorney Baldwin.

Both attorneys plead with the judge that their past mistake has been corrected and that the ‘disqualification’ discussion should not happen in court, due to the fact that the investigation is still ongoing, and that both men felt ‘ambushed’ and unprepared for a defense.

“I’m concerned that the leak is not just a one-time leak,” said Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland, “the evidence that we have shows it is an on-going leak, however it’s being done, and it’s just – what’s next?”

Prosecutor McLeland accuses the former defense team of being capable of allowing a leak to happen again. Brad Rozzi chimes in and says that this issue shouldn’t be broadcast live and has no actual relevance to the ongoing case.

Rozzi cites an interview with an Indiana State Trooper who, in a legal deposition, states that crime scene leaks have happened from the very beginning of the case. Whether it be from officers who first responded to the murders of Abigial Williams and Liberty German in February of 2017, or Barbara MacDonald of Court TV, someone has always had access to sensitive material.

Rozzi says MacDonald has verifiably true documents that she claims she received from investigating detectives, thus further proving his point that their mistaken leak shouldn’t be grounds for this disqualification.

Judge Gull begins explaining her perspective. She says both Baldwin & Rozzi have made several legal moves that have caused the court concern. Gull cites several examples of both men saying they won’t try the case in the media, but then filing several motions with ‘proven falsehoods’ and allowing that to become headline news.

Gull then references an individual apparently involved with the evidence leak who went on to commit suicide. She says she is taking everything into account, and that Baldwin & Rozzi have shown gross negligence and incompetence.

“I am unsatisfied with your representation of Mr. Allen. I am gravely concerned about his rights to have competent, non-negligent representation,” said Judge Gull.

“But I think had been – we been given some notice of what we were actually – if this would have been framed in a pleading format or some formal disciplinary claim, which there’s a process for that in our business, then we could have come in here today with an opportunity to refute some of those things that you clearly had, you know, thought through and prepared before we got here,” said, Brad Rozzi.

Rozzi continued, “It was a phone conversation (between Judge Gull & McLeland) that was not on the record and then some follow-up emails.”

Judge Gull, “True.”

Rozzi, “There’s an informality to that.”

Judge Gull, “True.”

The rest of the transcript sums up what you’ve already heard. Richard Allen has a new legal team, and they have access to the discovery information collected by Baldwin & Rozzi. The new trial date has been set for October 15th, 2024. William Lebrato and Robert Scremin will now represent Richard Allen, the man accused of killing Abby and Libby nearly seven years ago.

Allen’s legal team hopes that with this transcript, the Indiana Supreme Court will find Special Judge Fran Gull to be in the wrong and biased against the former defense, thus proving she should be removed as the judge.