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Court Disbars Lawyer Who Attempted Murder

(CN) - An Indianapolis attorney convicted of trying to shoot a state representative at a property sale meeting has been disbarred by the Indiana Supreme Court.

Augustus J. Mendenhall was sentenced to 40 years in prison after being convicted as being "guilty but mentally ill" of armed robbery, aggravated battery, criminal confinement, resisting law enforcement and attempted murder.

Mendenhall did not file an answer to the disbarment action.

According to a complaint from the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission, Mendenhall used a false name to lure state Rep. Edward O. Delaney to a meeting, ostensibly to discuss a property sale.

"Respondent then attempted to shoot the victim, but the gun malfunctioned," according to the Supreme Court's unsigned order. "He then beat the victim and took his wallet before running away."

In the criminal case, a jury rejected Mendenhall's claim that he was innocent by reason of insanity. Instead, the jury found him guilty but suffering from some form of mental illness.

"In the current disciplinary case, respondent has not formally asserted mental illness as a mitigating factor, let alone provided any information regarding his mental condition, either at the time of the incident in question or at the present time," the justices wrote.

Mendenhall's actions "reflect adversely on the lawyer's honesty, trustworthiness or fitness as a lawyer," the order states. "For this misconduct, we find that respondent should be permanently disbarred."

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