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State representative's attacker permanently disbarred

January 13, 2012

The Indianapolis attorney who violently attacked and attempted to kill a state representative has been permanently disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Justices issued a four-page opinion Thursday in The Matter of Augustus J. Mendenhall, No. 32S00-1005-DI-230, which involves attorney Augustus Mendenhall’s October 2009 attack on attorney Rep. Ed DeLaney, D-Indianapolis.

Mendenhall blamed DeLaney for his family’s legal issues dating back more than two decades and held a grudge against the lawyer who had recently been elected to the Indiana House of Representatives. Mendenhall hid his real identity and posed as a potential client to meet DeLaney in Carmel for a purported property purchase. He attacked DeLaney until a passerby alerted police.

Mendenhall was convicted as guilty but mentally ill of five crimes that included attempted murder and sentenced to 40 years in prison.

The Supreme Court issued an interim suspension of Mendenhall in June 2010.

Noting that disbarment is reserved for the most serious misconduct, the justices concluded that Mendenhall violated Indiana Professional Conduct Rule 8.4(b) by committing criminal acts that reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer.

Justice Frank Sullivan did not participate in the case.

 

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