Indy man found incompetent to stand trial in Greenwood burglary case

An Indianapolis man who police say broke into a Greenwood home, changed the locks and lived there for nearly two weeks was found incompetent to stand trial.

Robert S. Allen, 55, was found to lack the capacity to stand trial by Johnson County Circuit Court judge Andrew Rosener on Nov. 3. Allen was charged with burglary, a Level 4 Felony, in May 2021, and a jury trial was originally set to begin in January.

He was ordered to be confined in a state mental health facility until he is found competent to stand trial. Right now, Allen does not have “comprehension sufficient to understand the nature of this criminal action against him” and to be able to mount his own defense, according to a court order.

This finding puts a stay on the case, and the charges are still pending while he is involuntarily housed at an Indiana Division of Mental Health & Addiction, or IDMH, facility, said Joe Villanueva, Johnson County prosecutor.

Competency is not the same thing as insanity. Competency takes place at the pretrial stage, while insanity is an affirmative defense raised at the trial itself. Insanity also refers to the inability to appreciate the wrongfulness of the criminal conduct, he said.

When and if Allen is deemed to be competent, the court will be notified, he will be brought to Johnson County and new court dates will be set. If he continues to be found incompetent to stand trial, he will remain in IDMH custody and be reevaluated periodically, Villanueva said.

If he remains in IDMH custody for 12 years — the maximum sentence he could receive for the crime he has been charged with — Allen would then be released, Villanueva said.

“That would be highly unlikely, but (is) a theoretical possibility,” he said.

Allen was charged after the Greenwood Police Department responded to a call from a man who said someone he did not know was inside a relative’s house in the 300 block of Campus Lane.

The man told police his relative had been out of town for 10 days, and he noticed an unfamiliar car in the driveway when he drove by. When his wife knocked on the door, Allen answered and told her he had owned the house since 1973, according to a Greenwood Police Department report.

When officers arrived, Allen opened the door to the house. He said it was “nobody’s house,” and he had lived there since 1973. He then told the officer the gas and light company moved him in to replace a gas line, according to the report.

He provided fake documents to show he owned the house, the report said.

The papers looked fraudulent because some documents were from 2005, written in pen and nothing was notarized, police said. Officers noted in the report they knew Allen was lying because the subdivision was new, and the house was less than a year old.

Allen was escorted out of the house, and the owner arrived at the scene. He told police he bought the house in February and provided documentation to prove it. He also said he did not know Allen, nor did he give him permission to stay there, according to the report.

Allen continued to tell police he lived at the house since 1973, and said the neighborhood was not new. He then changed his story, and told police he had lived at the house for the past week, the report said.

He proceeded to tell officers he moved there from California, and he operated the company that owned all of them, according to the report.

When asked how he got inside, Allen said he called a locksmith and claimed he needed in the house to change a gas line. The locksmith unlocked the doors for him and changed all the locks, the report said.

A neighbor told police she noticed Allen at the house about two weeks ago. He would sit in his car outside for two to three hours straight, then go inside the house each day, according to the report.

The owner inspected the home, and nothing was reported missing or damaged. A few of Allen’s personal items were found inside, the report said.