The man accused of attacking a lawyer-legislator last year because of a 23-year-old legal dispute is on trial in Hamilton Superior Court, facing multiple felony charges and potentially 100 years or more in prison.
The trial began Sept. 7 for Augustus J. Mendenhall, who was charged following the October 2009 attack on Rep. Edward DeLaney, D-Indianapolis, who is also an attorney. The man used a fake name to meet with DeLaney about a possible real estate deal in Carmel, but when the two met, Mendenhall beat DeLaney and tried to shoot him, according to news reports. A witness called police after seeing DeLaney and Mendenhall acting suspiciously, and believing DeLaney was in danger. When police arrived, they found Mendenhall on top of DeLaney, punching him in the head. DeLaney suffered injuries to his head and face in the attack. Police later learned that the man held a grudge about a legal dispute from the 1980s involving Mendenhall’s father, and that appeared to have led to this attack.
Also an attorney, Mendenhall was admitted to the bar in October 2008 and the Indiana Supreme Court suspended him in July 2010 because of this incident.
Mendenhall was charged with attempted murder, felony robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, felony criminal confinement, and misdemeanor resisting law enforcement. Setting aside 10 days for the trial, Hamilton Superior Judge William J. Hughes heard testimony that included DeLaney.
Mendenhall’s attorney Jack Crawford is presenting an insanity defense, and the court docket shows physicians listed as expert witnesses to testify in the case.
Rehearing "It's a dangerous legal world" IL Nov. 25-Dec. 8, 2009