Criminal Justice

In apparent struggle with gunman, lawyer 'died a hero,' says chief magistrate judge

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A Georgia lawyer died Saturday in a struggle with a gunman who went on to break into a woman’s home.

Rajesh Mehta, a senior staff attorney with the Cobb County Magistrate Court in Georgia, may have died while trying to stop the suspect from entering the woman’s home in Locust Grove, the town’s police chief told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Mehta, 45, was apparently able to disarm the suspect, 29-year-old Terrance Scott, who is accused of kicking in the door to the home and raping a woman at knife point. A gun was found in the bushes near Mehta’s body. Scott held the woman hostage for two and a half hours and then tried unsuccessfully to escape.

Scott is being held without bond, according to the Marietta Daily Journal. He faces charges of murder, burglary, rape, aggravated sodomy, aggravated battery, false imprisonment and aggravated assault.

Police said Mehta may have driven Scott to the home, although it is unclear why. It wasn’t known whether he was moonlighting for a ride-sharing service. Cobb County Chief Magistrate Judge Brendan Murphy said Mehta was forced to drive the suspect to the home.

Murphy told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that Mehta was a beloved figure at the courthouse who was always helping others.

“He would drop anything to help anyone, and he died how he lived,” Murphy said. “Raj died a hero, and that doesn’t surprise anybody here.”

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