A Hamilton County jury found an attorney guilty but mentally ill on the five counts he faced following his attack on a state representative nearly a year ago.
Augustus Mendenhall was convicted of Class A felonies attempted murder and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury; Class B felonies aggravated battery and criminal confinement; and Class A misdemeanor resisting law enforcement.
Mendenhall attacked Rep. Edward Delaney, D-Indianapolis, who is also an attorney, in October 2009 in Carmel. Mendenhall arranged to meet with DeLaney, who believed Mendenhall wanted to meet to discuss a possible property purchase. A passerby saw the two in a car, knew DeLaney and thought he may be in trouble and called police.
When police arrived, they found Mendenhall on top of DeLaney hitting him. Mendenhall had a gun, but it didn’t fire when he pulled the trigger. DeLaney suffered numerous injuries in the attack, including broken ribs and a punctured lung.
Mendenhall had a long-standing grudge against the attorney, blaming DeLaney for his family’s legal issues. DeLaney worked on a 1983 case involving Mendenhall’s father, Burke, who owned a building that was going to be rented to an adult bookstore. DeLaney’s mall-developer client filed a suit to stop it. The Marion County Prosecutor filed a civil suit to seize the bookstore and the case made it all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. Mendenhall ultimately won, but by then he had agreed to not rent to the bookstore.
Mendenhall, who was admitted to the bar in 2008, was suspended by the Indiana Supreme Court in June. He is scheduled to be sentenced Oct. 15.