Law Blog updates Ed DeLaney attack

Dateline: Sat 31 Oct 2009

Marcia Oddi at The Indiana Law Blog has updated the story of the attempted murder/attack on State Rep. Ed DeLaney of Indianapolis with the news that the man charged with the crime, Augustus J. Mendenhall, is apparently also an attorney -- he passed the Indiana bar in 2008, Oddi reports.

"A check of the net shows an Augustus J. Mendenhall on the list of those successful on the July 2008 Indiana Bar Examination. Here is a Linkedin page for the same new attorney, Augustus J. Mendenhall who, according to the Roll of Attorneys, lives in Plainfield and was admitted to the Indiana bar on Oct. 17, 2008," says Oddi.

The Indianapolis Star reports that DeLaney, a well-known lawyer and a Democrat, suffered head injuries and broken bones around his eye. Doctors also are checking to see if he has any broken ribs. According to police, the attack took place in Carmel; Delaney had gone there, thinking he was meeting a prospective client interested in buying land and wanting advice.

His wife Ann DeLaney, who heads the Julian Center for abused women and is a longtime spokesperson for Indiana Dems, said her husband is in good spirits, joking with the nurses and staff at Methodist Hospital.

Despite their prominence, the DeLaneys are remarkably restrained people -- not glad-handers, but serious, in my view, about their lives, their values, their family and their politics.

The last time I saw Mr. DeLaney was at the St. Thomas Aquinas Sausage Festival, where he graciously was the first guy to volunteer for the dunk tank. It was a chilly night, and he was wearing nothing more than swim trunks, yet he went into the water time and time again....and he is 66 years old. That's not easy to do, but he never complained and he never backed down. Moreso, he kept up good spirits and a line of patter throughout the evening.

Let's hope, first, that he recovers fully from his injuries, and secondly, that someone sheds light on whatever would motivate such an incident.

At this point, it seems absolutely and frighteningly insane. But then, that is the nature of all violence.







Write Man [Member] said:

I often read the comment section in the Star for stories as a means of understanding what others may be thinking about issues.

Unfortunately it's hard to read some of them because they're both so poorly written and also because they're reflective of the worst of human nature or grounded in lies, myths and talking points of the Limbaugh's and Hannity's of the world.

I remember watching a Bugs Bunny cartoon as a kid in which Bugs plays the role of Jack of Jack in the Beanstalk, and the giant chases him down the stalk and then loses his grip on the stalk, and falls to the ground, creating a giant hole where he lands. Everything around the hole (houses, trees, grass, everything) gets sucked into the hole.

We are very poorly educated here (a state official calls the IPS dropout rate an epidemic, and 2 of 10 people 25 and older in central Indiana do not have a high school diploma). Sometimes I think our poor educational attainment is that giant crashing into the ground, creating this huge hole and sucking everything down with it.

2009-10-31 19:07:37

ruthholl [Member] said:

Well, I can go with that, and certainly the metaphor of Bugs and the giant's fall -- woosh, into the pit -- could sum up Indiana. Especially educationally, as you suggest.
And yeah, those comments sections -- my god. They rarely follow the intent/news of the original story, but break off into idiotic tangents all of their own making.
So we can agree: Education has always been "the silver bullet." Despite the cost and length of time for paying back student loan and the bitter experiences of those who have degrees and still don't have jobs (or jobs in their fields) and other pitfalls, I still believe that, if nothing else, a good education teaches critical thinking skills, which is really the bottom line...
Indiana has always been a manufacturing state; the days of factory jobs are done. Where next?
Still, your stats -- source? -- are alarming. Especially for central Indiana, where I would expect the levels of education to be higher, just because of the doughnut counties.
But what does this have to do with Rep. Delaney -- fascinating as it is? Are you relating to the comments section in some of the news stories? Because some of them already are pure drivel and need to be dried up...

2009-10-31 19:34:29

Jen [unverified] said:

I actually read the comments hoping to make some sense of a senseless crime. I'm glad Rep. Delaney is doing as well as can be expected. The crime itself is so startling to me, as a Carmel resident, as a lawyer and as someone who appreciates both Ed and Ann Delaney. Unfortunately in this case, and in other cases frequently, people use the comments as a chance to make broader political attacks. The sense of disquiet resulting from this attack might have been quelled by comments that were . . . well . . . smarter.

2009-11-01 08:06:24

Write Man [Member] said:

The stats are from the 2000 Census, and the IPS comment from an August 2009 story in the Star. And my point with the Delaney story is sort of tangental I reckon. It's hard to tell what drove Mendenhall, but again, I read the comment section to get a measure of what others are thinking, and to try to understand how they react. And was alarmed at what I found.

My larger point is much like the smoking ban and Napolese items and a myriad of other issues, the greater thread is a tremendous need to have a larger pool of people with critical thinking skills. I am not suggesting that everyone agree with my point of view, or any single point of view, only that we need more people with the ability to reason and make decisions rather than letting emotion drive us (and I think emotion -- over property taxes -- was a very important factor in Ballard defeating Peterson).

I probably chose the wrong story to make that point. I don't know Delaney, but he seemed like a good enough guy, and then to read the hateful, ignorant comments, maybe I snapped (could be I had a drink, too).

Perhaps over the past 10 years central Indiana's educational attainment has increased, but I kind of doubt it given the influence IPS has on education. The challenges with student loans (and lack of access in minority populations, challenges in those populations with staying in school), all are major problems here. And you're right. The death of manufacturing, a poorly educated populace and the sort of economy based upon the low skills we have to offer, none of them portend well for us. Glad it's Sunday and sunny tho.

2009-11-01 08:10:20

Anonymous [unverified] said:

This is such a sad story for everyone involved. My parents are friends with the Delaney's. I went to Law School with Gus. This is not anything I could have ever thought him capable of doing. I would never even think that the fun-loving Gus I know would own a gun, let alone attempt to shoot someone. I can't even make sense of it. My thoughts and prayers go out to both families. Especially, to Ed and a speedy recovery.

2009-11-01 13:19:10

shadymonukah [Member] said:

I know auggie, and i cant believe it! I just cant wrap my head around it? He is such an intelligent guy! I mean it seems to me like he took a 25cal to injure him, not with the intention of killing, but my god none of it makes sense, its just not the guy I Know. There must be more to this. Sorry auggie, wish you could have handled it diferently, and my thoughts and prayers to the DeLaney family. I wish you all strength and luck throughout the recovery.

2009-11-01 21:11:00

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