ILNews

Attorney who staged own shooting pleads to misdemeanor

Dave Stafford
September 25, 2013
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A southern Indiana lawyer who rigged a shotgun at a state park that he used to shoot himself in the back has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor and will receive a suspended sentence while avoiding a felony conviction.

Peter Raventos, 44, who practiced in Spencer, entered a plea of guilty to a count of Class B misdemeanor false reporting Tuesday in Owen Circuit Court, according to his attorney, Paul J. Watts of Spencer. Prosecutors dropped a Class D felony charge of obstruction of justice as part of the plea deal.

Watts said Raventos will undergo counseling and must make restitution and provide a small amount of community service. But why Raventos staged his own shooting at McCormick’s Creek State Park near Spencer is still a mystery.

“The prosecuting attorney was reasonable and fair in evaluating the case. Mr. Raventos was going through a very bad time,” Watts said, calling the disposition appropriate in light of the facts of the case.

Owen County Prosecutor Donald VanDerMoere II said Raventos’ sentence orders that he be assessed and complete any mental-health and substance abuse counseling ordered and that he serve probation for one year. Raventos also is ordered to stay out of Indiana State Parks during the period of his probation, VanDerMoere said.

VanDerMoere said Raventos never provided investigators with a motive, but the prosecutor said Raventos did provide Department of Natural Resources investigators statements that allayed their fears. VanDerMoere said Raventos told investigators that he staged the shooting only aimed at himself, and that he didn’t stage the shooting with the intent of pursuing financial gain.

Raventos called 911 at 10:05 p.m. June 25, 2012, and told conservation officers he had been shot in the back by an unknown gunman. Conservation officers said evidence collected at the scene, in subsequent searches of Raventos’ car and his home suggested he staged the event to portray himself as the victim of a random shooting.

Raventos was taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis where he was treated for wounds inflicted by more than 20 shotgun pellets.

Authorities said Raventos’ claim of an assailant in the park quickly began to unravel.  From witness interviews and evidence, conservation officers concluded that Raventos rigged a shotgun so he could fire it at himself from some distance.

Witness statements led conservation officers to an area of the park where the shooting was believed to have occurred, DNR said. There officers found evidence including bungee cords, fishing line, a spent shotgun shell, an unspent shotgun shell and a small piece of plywood embedded with shotgun pellets, likely indicating a practice firing.

Conservation officer scuba divers searched the nearby White River and located a 20-gauge shotgun that was later linked to Raventos.

Raventos was admitted to practice law in October 1995. He was among more than 300 attorneys suspended in June under a blanket order of the Indiana Surpeme Court for CLE, fee and IOLTA violations.

Raventos could not be reached for comment.




 

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  1. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  2. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  3. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

  4. Here's an idea...how about we MORE heavily regulate the law schools to reduce the surplus of graduates, driving starting salaries up for those new grads, so that we can all pay our insane amount of student loans off in a reasonable amount of time and then be able to afford to do pro bono & low-fee work? I've got friends in other industries, radiology for example, and their schools accept a very limited number of students so there will never be a glut of new grads and everyone's pay stays high. For example, my radiologist friend's school accepted just six new students per year.

  5. I totally agree with John Smith.

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