Man going through divorce accused of murdering estranged wife’s attorney and setting the man’s office on fire

Patrick Swanson / December 11,2022


A Georgia man is in custody and charged with murder and arson after police say he shot and killed his estranged wife’s attorney and then set the man’s law office on fire.

At 5:30 p.m. on December 7, firefighters raced to a blaze at a law office building in Lawrenceville, Georgia, about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta. After they managed to extinguish the fire, they discovered inside the building the charred remains of Doug Lewis, a family law attorney whom KENS-TV described as “beloved” and “popular.”

According to reports, police immediately arrested a suspect in the case: 65-year-old Allen Tayeh, the estranged husband of one of Lewis’ clients. Tayeh’s wife, whose name has not been released, had filed for divorce in early 2021, and the couple had a divorce hearing scheduled some time this week.

Police believe that Tayeh confronted Lewis in the office around 5 p.m. that evening and that Lewis had been alone at the time. At some point, they believe, Tayeh shot Lewis, doused the building with an accelerant, and lit it on fire.

Witnesses reportedly directed police to Tayeh, who was within the vicinity of the burned office building. When they found Tayeh, he “had injuries that were consistent with being in or near the fire,” including “burns on the pants” and “singed hair,” Lawrenceville police Lt. Jake Parker stated. The pronounced odor of gasoline and several gas cans had reportedly been detected in the area.

Parker also alleged that Tayeh was found with a firearm on his person, “a revolver that had spent cartridges in the cylinders.” Whether that firearm is registered to Tayeh is unclear.

Tayeh was arrested and charged with malice murder and arson. He was booked in the Gwinnett County Jail without bond. It is unclear when he is next scheduled to appear in court.

Colleagues remember Lewis, who practiced law for 30 years, as a loving family man with a good sense of humor.

“Doug was a joy to be around,” recalled Lewis’ friend and former law partner, Jesse Kent. “[H]e was the standard that all lawyers — including me — aspired to be. His absence was felt the moment he left us and the legal profession will never be the same without him.”

“I’m going to miss him,” said Phil McCurdy, an attorney who worked both with and against Lewis on various cases. “He had a great sense of humor and a very quick wit.”

“[H]e was just the nicest guy,” said Kristina Weaver, whose children used to play with Lewis’ kids.

“It’s just really sad,” she added.

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