DELPHI, Ind. -- Attorneys for a northern Indiana man charged with killing two teenage girls contend in court documents filed Monday that their client had nothing to do with the crimes and that the girls actually died as part of a ritual sacrifice.
Attorneys Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi, who represent Richard Allen of Delphi, said in a 136-page document that 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German were killed by members of a pagan Norse religion and white nationalist group known as Odinists.
They also requested a hearing to present evidence that the search warrant for Allen's house was based on faulty probable cause and should be suppressed.
"Members of a pagan Norse religion, called Odinism, hijacked by white nationalists, ritualistically sacrificed Abigail Williams and Liberty German," the attorneys state said in the filing.
"(N)othing, absolutely nothing, links Richard Allen to Odinism or any religious cult," they wrote.
The attorneys claim that two groups of Odinists, one from the Delphi area and one from the Rushville area in southeastern Indiana, were investigated for their involvement in the crimes. They say investigators found multiple ritualistic symbols at the crime scene, including the way Liberty's body was positioned.
The Carroll County prosecutor's office didn't immediately reply to a Monday phone message seeking comment about the defense's claims.
The two girls were found dead near the Monon High Bridge on Feb. 14, 2017. An autopsy showed that they had been stabbed.
In a search warrant request in March 2017, an FBI agent claimed the girls' bodies appeared to have been "moved and staged" at the crime scene.
The defense filing claims possible "Odinism signatures," including ritualistic symbols, were left at the crime scene but that investigators abandoned that angle.
Allen's attorneys also named several potential suspects who have not been charged in the case.
The girls were killed after a relative dropped them off at 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, heavily wooded area near the trail.
Allen has pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The killings have haunted Delphi, a city of about 3,000 where Allen lived and worked at a drug store.