DELPHI — Clad in a yellow jumpsuit, shackles and a bulletproof vest, Richard Allen of Delphi, accused of murder in the deaths of Abby Williams, 13, and Libby German, 14, appeared in court Tuesday morning for a hearing regarding the release of public documents in his case.

Those records — including the probable cause affidavit and the charging information against the defendant — have been sealed since Allen’s arrest earlier this month, per a motion filed by Carroll County Prosecutor Nick McLeland.

During Tuesday’s hearing, McLeland laid out his reasoning for wanting to continue to keep those records sealed, which included what he called “extraordinary circumstances.”

“There’s not a lot of precedent for a hearing like this,” McLeland told the court, though he did offer up two of his biggest concerns.

McLeland argued that keeping the records sealed up from public and media access would protect witnesses involved the case, and it would also ensure that the ongoing investigation would not be hindered.

“This is still a very ongoing investigation,” he noted. “… We have a good reason to believe that Richard Allen is not the only one involved in this. … The public has an absolute right to information, but at what cost?”

McLeland then took a few moments to address the “extraordinary lengths” the media has reportedly gone through to speak to anyone involved in the case, arguing that there are witnesses named in the court documents that should be protected.

“We are a society of people that need to know right now,” he said. “… But we can’t look at this case like any other case.”

But while McLeland does continue to want the records sealed, he did acknowledge that there’s a possibility the records will be revealed to the public.

And if they are, he argued that they should at least be redacted so witnesses’ names and information are withheld for safety reasons.

The special judge in the case, Allen County Superior Court Judge Fran Gull, will now take the issue under advisement.

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