On November 14, Washington Post covered a story set in Fairfax County, Virginia, where a lawyers-related saga unfolded that was almost too bizarre to contemplate. Leo Fisher, the managing shareholder of a prominent northern Virginia firm, Bean Kinney & Korman, and his wife, Susan Duncan, were allegedly brutally attacked in their home by two married lawyers, Alecia and Andrew Schmuhl. The home invasion was described by the Prosecutor as “torture.”
Alecia Schmuhl had been employed by the Bean firm from February 13, 2013, until October 28, 2014, when she was terminated by the firm due to alleged poor performance.
While Alecia remained outside the Fisher/Duncan home, Andrew, an unemployed lawyer and former Navy JAG attorney, posed as a police officer and knocked on the Fisher/Duncan front door. Fisher answered the door, and was allegedly tasered by the man posing as a policeman, later described as Andrew. Fisher went down to the floor, and the invader handcuffed him with a pair of flexible handcuffs. Duncan, who then came to the door, was also handcuffed and pushed into a bathroom.
Prosecutor Raymond Morrogh, describing the situation as a “torture session,” said Fisher was not only tasered but also “brutally stabbed” in the head, face and upper body. Duncan was also tasered and repeatedly stabbed. One bullet was fired at her but missed.
She was able to activate a police alarm and the invading couple fled, with Andrew allegedly vowing “I’m going to come back and finish this job.” With Alecia at the wheel, the Schmuhls attempted to get away, but were apprehended after a four-mile police chase.
In a strange circumstance, Andrew was found in the getaway car wearing nothing but a diaper and covered in blood. It has been speculated that he was so intent upon causing harm to Fisher that he wore a diaper so that he wouldn’t have to take a break at any time during his attack.
Despite Alecia’s contentions that she was controlled by her husband and that she was in the car having no idea what was going on, she and Andrew were charged with multiple felonies and their request for a bond was denied by Virginia Judge David Schell where the Prosecutor asserted that “a real and imminent danger to the law firm” was present.
There are many lessons to be learned from this horrific event, including that an allegedly disgruntled employee should not be present (or allegedly participating) during her spouse’s revenge attack. In many jurisdictions, resignation from the practice is a negotiating chip in a plea bargain when serious crimes are alleged. If these events are as they have been reported, resignation would be the least of the Schmuhls’ problems.
The Washington Post coverage can be found here.