Georgia Divorce Attorney Is Shot “by the Estranged Husband of One of His Clients.”

  • Doug Lewis was alone in his office in Lawrenceville, Georgia, on Wednesday evening when police say Allen Tayeh walked in and shot him
  • Tayeh, 65, is said to have then doused Lewis' law offices with petrol and set a fire before being caught walking away from the scene
  • Authorities allege in court documents that Tayeh Lewis owed more than $28,000 as part of his ex-wife's $170,000 divorce settlement
  • He had until the end of November to pay his ex-partners' legal fees, and when he failed to do so, Lewis filed papers asking a judge to find him in contempt of court
  • Tayeh is being held without bail as he faces charges of first-degree murder and arson

A Georgia divorce lawyer was shot and killed by the estranged husband of one of his clients before the angry man set fire to his office while his remains were still inside, authorities allege.

According to Lawrenceville police, Doug Lewis was alone in his office on Stone Mountain Street Wednesday evening when Allen Tayeh walked in and shot him.

Tayeh then allegedly doused Lewis' entire office with gasoline and set a fire before he was seen leaving the scene with burns of his own.

Investigators now believe Tayeh Lewis owed more than $28,000 in legal fees after his ex-wife's well-respected attorney won a $170,000 settlement and a judge ordered him to pay for the same He had to pay legal fees for his ex-partners.

Tayeh, 65, is now charged with first-degree murder and arson and is being held without bail in the Gwinnett County Jail.

Doug Lewis, a popular divorce lawyer in Lawrenceville, Georgia, was shot and his offices set on fire Wednesday evening. Authorities say Allen Tayeh, the estranged husband of one of his clients, was distraught over how much he owed Lewis in legal fees before he shot him and set fire to his offices

Authorities said they were first alerted to a fire in Lewis' office in an old, converted house around 5 p.m.

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 after, a witness told authorities at the scene that he had seen 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 gun on him,” Lt. Jake Parker told WUSA, “a revolver that was empty of cartridge cases. And there were also gas cans in the area and a smell of gasoline.”

“That’s pretty bold,” he added of the murder. “It kind of comes out of the blue.”

But court documents obtained by 11 Alive now suggest that Tayeh may have been motivated to kill Lewis because of the sizable settlement he negotiated for his ex-wife.

According to the documents, Tayeh's ex-wife filed for divorce in January 2021 and hired Lewis as her attorney. In August a judgment was made dissolving the marriage.

Under terms set by a local judge, Tayeh would have to return half of his pension benefits to his ex-wife, pay $138,000 within 90 days for her share of the equity in their Dacula home and pay her $500 in monthly support.

A judge then ruled at the end of October that Tayeh also had to pay his ex-wife's legal fees from the divorce proceedings amounting to $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 currently being held without bail in the Gwinnett County Jail as he faces charges of aggravated murder and first-degree arson

He apparently never paid those bills, 11 Alive reports. Court records dated Dec. 1 show Lewis asked a judge to hold him in contempt of court for failing to make payments.

“Payment of attorney fees should be received by plaintiff’s attorney on or before November 30, 2022,” Lewis wrote.

“The defendant has failed to pay court-ordered attorney fees,” he continued, writing, “The defendant is in willful disregard of the court’s October 31, 2022 order.”

A hearing to discuss the matter was scheduled for December 14 but has since been canceled.

Firefighters arrived at the scene of the accident at Lewis' Law Office on Wednesday evening and discovered that there had been 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 lawyer Phil McCurdy. “He had a great sense of humor and a very quick wit.”

McCurdy said they were sometimes adversaries in court but at other times served as co-counsels.

“Doug was a consummate gentleman,” he said. “I’ve never heard him raise his voice. I never saw him lose his temper. 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 human being,” he added.

Kristina Weaver also said she met Lewis and his family when her children were young.

“I saw him at Dacula Park all the time and he was just the nicest guy,” she said. “He is best known in the family court community.

“It’s just really sad.”

Meanwhile, Jesse Kent, a former law partner of Lewis, said he was a “dedicated family man who valued his wife and children.”

“Rarely a day went by when he didn't mention her or how proud he was of her,” Kent said, adding, “Doug was a joy to be with; He was the standard to which all lawyers, including myself, aspire.

“His absence was felt the moment he left us and the legal profession will always be the same without him.”