Attack On Legislator Stemmed From Porn Shop Case; Grudge Lasted 26 Years

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. — The man accused of brutally beating an Indiana state legislator over the weekend admitted to the attack Monday and said it stemmed from a grudge he has held for 26 years.

In an interview from jail, Augustus Mendenhall, [pictured] 38, told 6News’ Jennifer Carmack that an old court case in which State Rep. Ed Delaney, D-Indianapolis, was involved back in 1983 was the impetus for the attack.

In that case, Mendenhall’s father, Burke Mendenhall, owned a building in the 4200 block of West 38th Street in which he intended to set up an adult bookstore.

According to court records, the Marion County prosecutor at the time, Stephen Goldsmith, directed the Indianapolis Police Department to “lock, seal and secure” the bookstore on Mendenhall’s property.

There was a long, drawn-out court battle that lasted six years. Both DeLaney and his wife, Ann, were involved in the case at the time. Ann DeLaney was deputy prosecutor.

Mendenhall said that his family has never been the same since that court battle and that DeLaney “wronged” his family.

Mendenhall also said that he just intended to scare DeLaney and that he’s sorry for the way the attack turned out, but never said he was sorry that it happened.

DeLaney suffered broken bones in his face, several broken ribs, a punctured lung and needed several staples in his head after the attack, which happened Saturday morning just off Catherine Drive in Carmel.

Police were tipped off to the attack by John and Cathy Palmer, a couple driving by the area who just happened to know DeLaney and were puzzled enough by his bizarre behavior during a brief conversation to call 911.

“We noticed while he was talking to us, he kept flipping us off. His hand would be down low, and then he’d wink,” John Palmer said Sunday. “We thought, ‘Wow, that’s out of character,’ because he’s a nice, nice gentleman.”

When officers arrived, they said they found Mendenhall, an attorney who passed the bar exam last year, lying on top of DeLaney and beating him.

[State Rep. Ed Delaney]
State Rep. Ed Delaney

Family members said Mendenhall first tried to shoot DeLaney, but the gun jammed.

Ann DeLaney released a statement Monday to thank those who have been supportive of her husband.

“We want to thank everyone for their huge outpouring of support for Ed, including Sen. Bayh, Congressman Carson, Speaker Bauer, Sen. Simpson, Mayor Ballard, and people around the state,” part of the statement read. “We are so grateful for the strong support and expressions of love and prayer.”

Ann DeLaney said her husband, who represents the 86th District which includes portions of Marion and Hamilton counties, will require surgery to fix broken bones around his eye socket.

“He is in a lot of pain, but his spirits are good. We are taking comfort in the prayers and expressions of our friends, family and well-wishers,” she said.

Mendenhall was charged with several felonies, including attempted murder. He was being held without bond in the Hamilton County Jail.

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