Delphi, Indiana—— Lawyers for a northern Indiana man accused of killing two teenage girls argued in court documents filed Monday that their client had nothing to do with the crimes and that the girls were actually killed during ritual sacrifices.
Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi, attorneys representing Delphi Richard Allen, said in a 136-page filing that 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German were sexually assaulted. Members of Norwegian religious and white nationalist groups who teach killing are known as Odinists.
They also requested a hearing to present evidence that the search warrant for Allen’s house was based on the wrong probable cause and should be suppressed.
“Members of the Norwegian pagan religion Odinism were hijacked by white nationalists and ritually sacrificed to Abigail Williams and the Free Germans,” the attorneys said in the filing.
“There is nothing, absolutely nothing, that connects Richard Allen to Odinism or any religious cult,” they wrote.
Attorneys claim that two groups of Odinists, one from the Delphi area and one from the Rushville area in southeastern Indiana, are under investigation for their involvement in the crime. Investigators found multiple ritual symbols at the crime scene, including the way Lady Liberty’s body was placed, they said.
The Carroll County Prosecutor’s Office did not immediately respond to a phone message Monday seeking comment on the defense charges.
The two girls were found dead near the Monon High Bridge on February 14, 2017. Autopsies revealed they had been stabbed.
In a March 2017 search warrant request, an FBI agent claimed the girl’s body appeared to have been “moved and positioned” at the crime scene.
Defense documents said possible “Odinist signatures,” including ritual symbols, were left at the crime scene, but investigators dropped that angle.
Allen’s attorneys also listed several potential suspects who have not yet been charged in the case.
The two girls were killed after their relatives dropped them off on a hiking trail near the Monon High Bridge, just outside their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis. Their bodies were found the next day in a rugged, wooded area near the trail.
Allen has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The killings have plagued Delphi, a city of about 3,000 people where Allen lives and works at a pharmacy.