A Georgia Man Didn’t Want to Pay His Ex-Wife’s Legal Fees. So He Shot the Attorney Dead and Set His Office on Fire.

georgia man fatally shot exs divorce attorney and set his office on fire
Source: Gwinnett County Sheriff’s Office; Doug Lewis Law Firm

Jun. 23 2023, Published 3:33 p.m. ET

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A 65-year-old Georgia man will spend the rest of his life behind bars after he fatally shot his ex-wife’s divorce attorney and then set the victim’s office on fire.

On Dec. 7, 2022, the Lawrenceville Police Department and Gwinnett County Fire Department responded to a call regarding a fire at the law office of Douglas Lewis.

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Once at the scene, first responders found Lewis suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the head, one which was “almost immediately fatal,” authorities said.

Officials said Lewis was already dead by the time the fire broke out. Investigators believe Allen Tayeh used gasoline to start the fire. Authorities allegedly found gas cans in his vehicle, which was parked next to Lewis’ car. His car keys were also reportedly found near Lewis’ body inside the building.

Police located Tayeh nearby and he had singed eyebrows and hair, along with burns on his hands, legs and face. Officials said he had a .38 revolver in his possession.

Investigators said Lewis represented Tayeh’s ex-wife in a divorce trial. Tayeh was ordered by a judge to pay Lewis’ attorney fees, which he had not done. The judge over the divorce proceedings issued a notice for Tayeh to “return to court for contempt of court hearings based on the failure to pay those fees.”

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In February, a grand jury indicted Tayeh on multiple charges and on June 21, he pleaded guilty to malice murder, felony murder, aggravated assault, burglary, arson, possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, criminal attempt to conceal a death and tampering with evidence, according to the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office.

A judge sentenced Tayeh to life in prison without parole plus five years.


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