A beloved Georgia divorce lawyer was shot dead by the estranged husband of one of his clients before the angered man set fire to his office with his remains, authorities say.
According to Lawrenceville police, Doug Lewis was alone in his office on Stone Mountain Street Wednesday night when Allen Tayeh walked in and shot him.
Tayeh then allegedly poured gasoline all over Lewis’ office and started a fire before he was seen walking away from the scene with his own burns.
Investigators now say Tayeh owes Lewis more than $28,000 in legal fees after his ex-wife’s respected attorney awarded him a $170,000 settlement and a judge ordered that he also pay his ex-wife’s legal fees. woman had to pay.
Tayeh, 65, now faces felony murder and first-degree arson charges and is being held without bail in the Gwinnett County Jail.
Doug Lewis, a popular divorce attorney in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was shot dead and his office set on fire Wednesday night
Authorities say Allen Tayeh, the estranged husband of one of his clients, was dismayed at how much he owed Lewis in legal fees before shooting him dead and setting fire to his offices
Authorities said they were first made aware of a fire at Lewis’ offices in an old converted home around 5pm.
When they arrived they saw that the wooden building was badly burned and when the fire was extinguished firefighters found Lewis’ body still inside.
Soon, a witness told authorities at the scene that they saw a man walking away from the scene who also appeared to be burned, and Lawrenceville police were able to arrest Tayeh at the scene.
“He had a firearm with him,” said Lt. Jake Parker told WUSA, “A revolver that had run out of cartridges. And there were also gas cans and gas smells in the area.”
“It’s pretty bold,” he added of the murder. “It’s kind of out of the blue.”
But court documents now obtained by 11 Alive suggest Tayeh may have been motivated to kill Lewis over the sizeable settlement he reached with his ex-wife.
The documents state that Tayeh’s ex-wife filed for divorce in January 2021 and hired Lewis as her attorney. A verdict was then passed in August to dissolve the marriage.
Under the terms set by a local judge, Tayeh would have to pay his ex-wife half of his retirement benefits, pay $138,000 for her share of the equity of their Dacula home within 90 days, and give her $500 a month in child support.
A judge then ruled in late October that Tayeh must also pay his ex-wife’s legal fees from the divorce case — totaling $28,483.23 — within 30 days.
Authorities were able to arrest Tayeh at the scene after a witness saw him walking away with burn marks on his skin
Tayeh is now being held without bail in the Gwinnett County Jail on charges of first-degree felony murder and arson
Apparently he had never paid those bills, reports 11 Alive, with court filings dated December 1 showing Lewis asked a judge to arrest him for failing to pay the payments for contempt of court.
“Payment of attorneys’ fees should be received by plaintiff’s counsel on or before November 30, 2022,” Lewis wrote.
“Defendant failed to pay court-ordered attorneys’ fees,” he continued, writing, “Defendant willfully disobeys court order dated October 31, 2022.”
A hearing to discuss the matter was scheduled for December 14 but has since been cancelled.
Firefighters arrived at the scene of Lewis’ law office Wednesday night and found it had sustained significant damage
Lewis is remembered today as a kind family man who has practiced in Gwinnett County for 30 years.
“I will miss him,” said fellow attorney Phil McCurdy. “He had a great sense of humor and a very quick learner.”
McCurdy said they are sometimes adversaries in court but at other times serve as co-counsel.
“Doug was a consummate gentleman,” he said. “I’ve never heard him raise his voice. I never saw him lose his composure. I never saw him treat anyone except with respect.
“I don’t know anyone who didn’t respect him as a colleague, as a professional and as a person,” he added.
Kristina Weaver also said she met Lewis and his family when their children were little.
“I saw him all the time at Dacula Park and he was just the nicest guy,” she said. “He is best known in the family court community.
“It’s just very sad.”
Meanwhile, Jesse Kent, a former legal partner of Lewis, said he was a “dedicated family man who valued his wife and children.”
“Hardly a day went by that he didn’t mention her or how proud he was of her,” said Kent, adding, “Doug was a pleasure to be with; He was the standard that all lawyers, including myself, aspired to.
“His absence was felt the moment he left and the legal profession will always be the same without him.”
https://www.soundhealthandlastingwealth.com/health/georgia-divorce-lawyer-is-shot-dead-by-estranged-husband-of-one-of-his-female-clients/ Georgia divorce lawyer shot dead by ‘one of his clients’ estranged husband’