Gwinnett County man kills ex-wife’s divorce attorney, sets office on fire, police say

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. — A Gwinnett County man is accused of killing his ex-wife’s divorce attorney and setting his office building on fire.

Lawrenceville officials responded to a fire on Stone Mountain Street around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night. After crews put the fire out, they found the body of attorney Douglas Lewis inside the building.

Officials say they saw a man, identified as Allen Tayeh, 65, walking away from the scene with burn injuries. Police obtained warrants for murder and arson charges against Tayeh.

Court documents acquired by Channel 2′s Matt Johnson show that Lewis represented Tayeh’s ex-wife in their divorce proceedings.

Police said between 5 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Wednesday night, Tayeh set Lewis’ office on fire with a can of gasoline.

Police found a gun on Tayeh but have not been able to determine how Lewis died because his body was burned. Police said Tayeh was found with charred pants and hair from setting the fire.

Johnson was in Lawrenceville Thursday, where he talked to Lewis’ colleagues, who said this is a scenario they all feared.


Colleague Kip Shephard said Lewis was a nice guy and a family man.

“He was very personable, you know?” Shephard said. “He was always cordial.”

Shephard said outcomes like this are some of lawyers’ worst fears.

“I think it’s something that every lawyer worries about in the back of their mind,” Shepard said.

Police have not released a motive, but court records show that a court hearing in the divorce case was scheduled for next Wednesday morning.

Tayeh is currently sitting in the Gwinnett County Jail with no bond.