Georgia Divorce Lawyer Shot and Killed by Estranged Husband of Client
A Georgia divorce lawyer was killed in his office in Lawrenceville on Wednesday evening. The victim, Doug Lewis, was shot by Allen Tayeh, the estranged husband of one of his clients, before the assailant set fire to Lewis’ office, with his remains still inside. Tayeh owed Lewis more than $28,000 in legal fees, which the lawyer sought to collect. Investigators now believe that Tayeh was motivated to kill Lewis by the sizable settlement he negotiated for his ex-wife following their divorce.
The Shooting and Arson
Lewis was alone in his office on Stone Mountain Street when Tayeh walked in and shot him. According to authorities, Tayeh then doused Lewis’ entire office with gasoline and set it on fire before leaving the scene with burns on his skin. Firefighters arrived to find Lewis’ body still inside the building. Tayeh was arrested at the scene, charged with first-degree murder and arson, and is currently being held without bail at the Gwinnett County Jail.
The Legal Fees and Settlement
Court documents show that Tayeh’s ex-wife hired Lewis as her attorney during their divorce proceedings. In August, a judgment was made that required Tayeh to return half his pension benefits to his ex-wife, pay $138,000 for her share of the equity in their Dacula home, and pay her $500 in monthly support. The court also ordered Tayeh to pay $28,483.23 in legal fees to Lewis within 30 days. However, Tayeh never paid the fees owed to Lewis, and Lewis sought to hold him in contempt of court for failing to make payments.
The Legacy of Doug Lewis
Doug Lewis was a popular divorce lawyer in Lawrenceville who had practiced in Gwinnett County for 30 years. He is remembered by colleagues and friends as a kind family man who always treated others with respect. Fellow lawyer Phil McCurdy said, “I don’t know anyone who didn’t respect him as a colleague, as a professional, and as a human being.” Jesse Kent, a former law partner of Lewis, described him as a “dedicated family man” and a joy to be with. Lewis is survived by his wife and children.
The tragic death of Doug Lewis has shocked the legal community in Georgia and beyond. While the circumstances of his murder are still under investigation, the events leading up to it highlight the challenges that lawyers face in collecting fees owed to them. The legacy of Doug Lewis as a consummate professional and a kind human being will live on, and his death is a devastating loss to his family, colleagues, and clients.
- Georgia divorce lawyer
- Lewis’ office fire
- Allen Tayeh
- Legal fees
- Ex-wife settlement
- Gwinnett County Jail
- Doug Lewis
- Contempt of court
- Lewis’ legacy
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