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Drugstore worker gets May trial date in slaying of 2 teen girls

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A judge moved up the trial date Monday for an Indiana man charged in the slayings of two teenage girls who had gone on a day hike near their hometown.

Previously set for October, the jury trial for Richard Allen is now scheduled for May 13 through May 31, according to court records.

The teens were found dead in February 2017, a day after being reported missing following a visit to a hiking trail near their hometown of Delphi, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northwest of Indianapolis.

Allen, a drugstore pharmacy technician in the town of 3,000, wasn't arrested until October 2022. He's pleaded not guilty to two counts of murder in the killings of 13-year-old Abigail Williams and 14-year-old Liberty German.

The case's schedule has been repeatedly disrupted in recent months. After Allen's attorneys temporarily withdrew from the case last fall amid a leak of information, Special Judge Fran Gull moved the trial back to October 2024.

But the Indiana Supreme Court in January ordered the reinstatement of Allen’s original court-appointed attorneys — Andrew Baldwin and Brad Rozzi. The pair asked Gull to set a closer date for trial last week.

Allen is next expected in court Monday.

Gull issued a gag order in December 2022, barring attorneys, law enforcement officials, court personnel, the coroner and the girls’ family members from commenting on the case to the public or the media in any form, including on social media.