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Source: Donnie Burgess / WIBC News

UPDATE: The Indiana Supreme Court has ruled to reinstate attorneys Baldwin and Rozzi, but deny the request to remove Special Judge Fran Gull and the speedy trial request.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Delphi murders case was finally brought before the Indiana Supreme Court.

In a one-hour hearing Thursday, legal counsel for suspect Richard Allen argued Special Judge Fran Gull overstepped her authority when she decided to remove Allen’s former legal team of Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi.

Both men were accused of being negligent and incompetent due to evidence leaks late last year.

Counsel Mark Leeman argued Allen’s rights were violated and the legal process was purposefully stalled by the state. Leeman’s main argument rested on his belief that negligence and incompetence in the actual trial process couldn’t be proven.

Leeman also argued Richard Allen’s basic constitutional right to his own defense was being violated.

“The judge exceeded her jurisdiction and refused to accept Rick Allen’s wishes, when she had an absolute duty to act upon them.” said Counsel Leeman. He argued Gull made up her mind and never gave Richard Allen a fair and full understanding of what she was about to do to his defense team.

Counsel Matt Gutwein, representing Judge Fran Gull, attempted to argue that Baldwin and Rozzi’s past mistakes and conduct created an overwhelming possibility that they would be incompetent representation for Allen. Gutwein also argued there is legal standing for Judge Gull to make a decision to remove legal representation based on intuition and experience.

Both sides were consistently questioned and challenged by the state’s high court. At one point, Gutwein stated Baldwin and Rozzi had a fair chance to go forth with a court hearing and challenge the claims that they were incompetent, “having read the transcript, was it a full and free choice?” asked Chief Justice Loretta Rush.

“Well, uh, these are very experienced lawyers. These are highly competent lawyers,” said Gutwein.

Legal counsel for Attorney General Todd Rokita, Angela Sanchez, was also in attendance and spoke before the court on the side of the state.

Sanchez attempted to argue Allen may not fully understand what’s going on, as indicated by his legal team in court filings describing his deteriorating mental condition.

Sanchez continued by saying it’s ambiguous if Allen truly wants Baldwin and Rozzi back on the case.

Counsel Leeman countered and finished the hearing by reading a letter from Allen, dated October 11th, 2023, “attorney Rozzi has also communicated with me that the prosecutor has requested that the attorney be disqualified from representing me in this case. I do not want this to happen. I want Mr. Baldwin and Mr. Rozzi to continue to represent me until this case is resolved, one way or another.”

Also Thursday, Prosecutor Nick McLeland of Carroll County filed to amend the charges against Richard Allen. In addition to the original felony murder charges, McLeland now wants the court to add two counts of kidnapping and two counts of murder while kidnapping.

The trial is supposed to begin October 15th.