(NewsNation) — A judge in Indiana has narrowed down the list of counties from which jurors will be selected for the upcoming trial of a man accused of committing the Delphi murders years ago.
The jury will come from either St. Joseph County or Allen County, NewsNation affiliate WXIN reported. Both are roughly 100 miles away from Carroll County, where the killings of Abby Williams and Libby German took place.
A judge previously ruled that the trial for suspect Richard Allen will be held in Carroll County but that jurors will be bused in from elsewhere because it would be “difficult if not impossible” to find jurors in Carroll County.
Allen was arrested in October 2022 and charged with two counts of murder in the deaths of Williams and German, whose bodies were found on Feb. 14, 2017, after the girls went for a walk on the Delphi Historic Trails in Delphi, Indiana.
The probable cause affidavit shows an unspent shell that was found between the girls’ bodies was forensically determined to have been cycled through Allen’s pistol.
Allen admitted to being on the trail, but denied any involvement in the murders.
Prosecutors and the defense team for Allen were supposed to decide on a county by Friday, but a spokesperson for Judge Fran Gull said Monday they had not heard anything from attorneys, WXIN reported. The court will now decide between St. Joseph County, home to the city of South Bend, or Allen County, home to the city of Fort Wayne.
The trial is slated to begin March 23, and a bail hearing for Allen is scheduled for Feb. 17.
But the judge has previously expressed skepticism that Allen’s trial would be on track for March 23, citing the “extraordinary, voluminous evidence” in the case that must be turned over to the defense.