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.
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Kudos: Gary Welsh
5 thoughts on “Lawyer Charged in Bizarre Attack on State Legislator In Indiana”
Mendenhall’s story isn’t believable at all. I know Ed, so maybe I’m biased here, but the idea that he would agree to a meeting with someone claiming to be a front for the mob strains credulity. But even leaving *that* out, consider this: Why would Mendenhall want to use that to lure him? Wouldn’t Ed be less likely to show up if it was under the pretense of organizing a criminal conspiracy? Why wouldn’t Mendenhall just say he represented Russian businessmen looking to buy real estate in Indianapolis and leave the whole “money laundering” part out of the equation? This sounds like something he made up after the fact to try to cause Ed political embarrassment.
Politics as unusual …
I do not say as that I could blame him. Both were stupid and one is charged with making the laws the other one representing their client the best way they know how.
I’m curious as to why Rep. DeLaney would show up for a meeting with who he believed to be a Russian mobster looking for a way to launder money. (That is, if ANY part of Mendenhall’s story is remotely believable.) That in itself would seem to be incredibly damaging to his career and reputation regardless of how the criminal charges against Mendenhall turn out.
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