Who is Benjamin Diener? Judge recuses from Delphi murders case, blames it on public’s ‘blood lust’ interest

According to reports, the videos circulating online with the faces of the judge's family members concerned him and eventually led him to recuse from the case

Who is Benjamin Diener? Judge recuses from Delphi murders case, blames it on public’s ‘blood lust’ interest
Judge Benjamin Diener (L) recused from Richard Allen (R) case (Indiana Courts and Indiana State Police)
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CARROLL COUNTY, INDIANA: A Carroll County Circuit Court judge recused himself in the 2017 Delphi murder case on Thursday, November 3. Judge Benjamin Diener recused the same day he approved the transfer of 50-year-old Richard Allen, who is charged with the murder of Liberty German, 14, and Abigail Williams, 13, to the Indiana Department of Corrections.

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The judge blamed the public’s "blood lust" for information in the case for his decision, reported The Sun. According to the Independent, the videos circulating online with the faces of the judge's family members concerned him and eventually led him to recuse from the murder case. Kathryn Dolan, chief public information officer for the Indiana Supreme Court, said that judges don't have to explain a reason for recusal. As per Indiana Supreme Court, a judge can recuse themselves from a case for a variety of reasons. The court states that “a judge does not have to explain a reason for recusal," reports Fox59.

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In his order of recusal, Judge Diener said he "has determined that the particular circumstances within the underlying case warrant recusal and dictate that a special judge be appointed in this case." As per The Sun, Criminal Division Administrative Judge Frances C “Fran” Gull has been appointed to replace Diener.

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'Public’s blood lust for information is dangerous'

The move came after Carroll County Sheriff Tobe Leazenby filed a motion saying his department cannot provide the supervision to keep Allen due to safety concerns because of “extensive coverage from an array of various media platforms, both mainstream and social, throughout this state, the United States, and the world," stated Independent. The outlet further mentioned that Leazenby filed the request to move the culprit to the Indiana Department of Correction, which was approved by Judge Diener on November 3. Diener agreed that "Allen is in imminent danger of serious bodily injury or death, or represents substantial threat to the safety of others,” according to filings which also stated, “This FINDING is not predicated on any acts or alleged acts of [Mr Allen], since arrest, rather a toxic and harmful insistence on ‘public information’ about [Mr Allen] and this case. The public’s blood lust for information, before it exists, is extremely dangerous.”

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Who is Benjamin Diener?

According to Ballotpedia, he is the judge for the Circuit Court of Carroll County, who won the Carroll County Circuit Court Judge seat in 2012 November's election. Diener, who grew up in Monticello, did Bachelor of Business Administration from Indiana University and got a law degree from Barry University in Florida, according to Pharos Tribune. He’s been in private practice since 2007 and is licensed in Texas, where he worked as assistant attorney general for one year, as well as Indiana.

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Details of Delphi murders

ISP searches river near the house of alleged child abuser tied to Delphi murders (FBI and Miami County Sheriff's office)
Delphi bridge murder victims Abigail Williams and Liberty German and suspect Richard Allen (FBI and Indiana State Police)

On February 13, 2017, two young girls were killed while visiting the Monon High Bridge in Delphi. The bodies of the girls were found near a hiking trail the next day, reported Metro. Police gathered information by analyzing photos, videos, and audio recordings found on Libby German’s phone. Officials arrested Allen on Friday, October 28, as previously reported, and was formally charged with two counts of murder. He is due back in court on January 13, 2023, for a pre-trial hearing.

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