Criminal Justice

Criminal defense lawyer arrested for alleged threats against attorneys

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A Louisville, Kentucky, lawyer who won a murder acquittal for a client earlier this month has been arrested in connection with alleged threats against two lawyers in his own child custody battle.

The lawyer, 51-year-old Brendan McLeod, was charged with retaliating against participants in a legal process, terroristic threatening and harassing communications, the Louisville Courier Journal reports. He was arrested on Nov. 16 and released on his own recognizance.

McLeod is accused of leaving threatening voicemail messages for the lawyer representing McLeod’s ex-wife, Mark Dobbins. In one message, McLeod said he was going to “strap one on you,” and in another he said, “I will come find you,” according to allegations cited by the Courier Journal.

McLeod also allegedly told a third party that he would kill Dobbins and lawyer Forrest Kuhn, who was appointed as guardian ad litem for McLeod’s children. He also allegedly told police that he wished both lawyers were dead.

McLeod’s custody battle was in the news in July when McLeod sued the judge who released his drug test results. McLeod claimed that the judge defamed him and caused “a whirlwind of gossip, looks, stares and whispers” in the courthouse when she failed to seal results showing he had tested positive for methamphetamine, reported at the time. The lawsuit has since been dismissed.

The drug test was on May 8, the same month that he represented a murder defendant who was convicted at trial. The public defender’s office had sought a mistrial in the case because McLeod visited a co-defendant in jail at around 2 a.m. during the trial, previously reported. The judge denied the motion.

This month, McLeod represented a murder defendant who was acquitted of burglary and murder but convicted of terroristic threatening. The Courier Journal indicates the verdict was on Nov. 19, while reports in the West Kentucky Star and Paducah Sun say the date was Nov. 9.

McLeod didn’t respond to the Courier Journal’s request for comment. His lawyer told the Courier Journal he hadn’t yet investigated the case and had no comment.

McLeod responded by email to the ABA Journal’s request for comment. “This is newsworthy?” McLeod wrote. “They even have my picture wrong,” he said of the Courier Journal.

Updated at 3:30 p.m. with comment from McLeod.

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