Prosecutors in Carmel, Indiana have a perfectly bizarre crime involving a state representative, a lawyer, money-laundering for the Russian mob, a porn store, and a decades old grudge. In the case, Indiana State Representative Ed DeLaney was injured by longtime foe, lawyer Augustus Mendenhall, 38, in what the latter says was an elaborate trick gone bad.
Mendenhall admits that he lured DeLaney under a false claim that he was a representative for a Russian company that was a front for the Russian mafia. “I expressed to him that they wanted to launder or implied money through real estate here in Indiana,” Mendenhall said. Mendenhall donned a wig, gloves, coat, and appeared under the false name of Victor White. He also brought a gun. When he met DeLaney at a secluded spot, he asked “If he was right with God” and pointed the gun at him.
However, he refused to say whether he pulled the trigger.
Police say that he did pull the trigger. What is clear is that in the struggle the former Air Force veteran caused serious injuries to DeLaney, including several broken ribs and will have to have surgery for broken bones around his eye socket.
The grudge going back 26 years involves Mendenhall’s father. In the 1980s, Burke Mendenhall owned property and wanted to lease part of its property to an adult bookstore. The local prosecutor, Steven Goldsmith filed suit against Mendenhall under Indiana’s Racketeering and Corrupt Influence laws and seized the property.
Ed DeLaney was the attorney who worked on the case for the mall’s owners, DeBartolo Group. Notably, DeLaney’s wife, Ann, headed up the sex crimes unit as a deputy prosecutor in Goldsmith’s office at the time.
The litigation went on for years. The result was financial ruin for the family and Mendenhall blamed DeLaney. Burke Mendenhall filed a lawsuit against the city
Mendenhall blamed DeLaney for it. In 1997, Burke Mendenhall filed suit against the city and that case went to the state Supreme Court, but lost. Mendenhall says that he joined the military to simply support his family.
Mendenhall is now facing multiple counts, including attempted murder, and a $3 million bond, here.
Augustus (“Gus”) Mendenhall, is a 2008 graduate of the IU School of Law-Indianapolis.
Kudos: Gary Welsh