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COA finds double jeopardy in DeLaney attacker's case

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The Indiana Court of Appeals has ruled that two convictions of a former attorney who attacked a lawyer-legislator violated Indiana’s double jeopardy clause and that one of the charges should be reduced in order to remedy the violation.

In Augustus Mendenhall v. State of Indiana, No. 29A02-1104-CR-353, Augustus Mendenhall, the man who beat and held at gunpoint Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, in October 2009 because of a long-standing dispute in which Mendenhall blamed DeLaney for his family's legal issues, appealed his convictions.

Mendenhall, an attorney who was admitted to practice in 2008 but has since been permanently disbarred as a result of his attack on DeLaney, was convicted of Class A felony attempted murder, Class A felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, Class B felony aggravated battery, Class B felony criminal confinement and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.  A jury found Mendenhall guilty but mentally ill on all counts, and Hamilton Superior Judge William Hughes sentenced him to an aggregate term of 40 years.

On appeal, Mendenhall raised five issues that included the trial court’s denying his motion for mistrial, his objection to allowing the state to present a rebuttal witness, and whether the state should have been allowed to present rebuttal to Mendenhall’s case following court-appointed medical witness testimony. The court affirmed on those issues, as well as on claims questioning the evidence sufficiency.

But in examining double jeopardy questions, the appellate court found that the Class B felony conviction for aggravated battery and Class A felony conviction for robbery resulting in serious bodily injury violate Indiana’s probation against double jeopardy. The court remanded with instructions to reduce the robbery conviction to a Class C felony.

 

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    This statement in your story is inaccurate: "because of a long-standing legal dispute that had involved DeLaney’s representation of Mendenhall’s father..." Mr. DeLaney represented a client ADVERSE to Mendenhall's father.

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    1. Oh, the name calling was not name calling, it was merely social commentary making this point, which is on the minds of many, as an aside to the article's focus: https://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20100111082327AAmlmMa Or, if you prefer a local angle, I give you exhibit A in that analysis of viva la difference: http://fox59.com/2015/03/16/moed-appears-on-house-floor-says-hes-not-resigning/

    2. Too many attorneys take their position as a license to intimidate and threaten non attorneys in person and by mail. Did find it ironic that a reader moved to comment twice on this article could not complete a paragraph without resorting to insulting name calling (rethuglican) as a substitute for reasoned discussion. Some people will never get the point this action should have made.

    3. People have heard of Magna Carta, and not the Provisions of Oxford & Westminster. Not that anybody really cares. Today, it might be considered ethnic or racial bias to talk about the "Anglo Saxon common law." I don't even see the word English in the blurb above. Anyhow speaking of Edward I-- he was famously intolerant of diversity himself viz the Edict of Expulsion 1290. So all he did too like making parliament a permanent institution-- that all must be discredited. 100 years from now such commemorations will be in the dustbin of history.

    4. Oops, I meant discipline, not disciple. Interesting that those words share such a close relationship. We attorneys are to be disciples of the law, being disciplined to serve the law and its source, the constitutions. Do that, and the goals of Magna Carta are advanced. Do that not and Magna Carta is usurped. Do that not and you should be disciplined. Do that and you should be counted a good disciple. My experiences, once again, do not reveal a process that is adhering to the due process ideals of Magna Carta. Just the opposite, in fact. Braveheart's dying rebel (for a great cause) yell comes to mind.

    5. It is not a sign of the times that many Ind licensed attorneys (I am not) would fear writing what I wrote below, even if they had experiences to back it up. Let's take a minute to thank God for the brave Baron's who risked death by torture to tell the government that it was in the wrong. Today is a career ruination that whistleblowers risk. That is often brought on by denial of licenses or disciple for those who dare speak truth to power. Magna Carta says truth rules power, power too often claims that truth matters not, only Power. Fight such power for the good of our constitutional republics. If we lose them we have only bureaucratic tyranny to pass onto our children. Government attorneys, of all lawyers, should best realize this and work to see our patrimony preserved. I am now a government attorney (once again) in Kansas, and respecting the rule of law is my passion, first and foremost.

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