Criminal Justice

Lawyer Found Dead in Home After Suicidal Gunman Shoots at Downtown Indy Firm

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Mary Jane Frisby

The body of Mary Jane Frisby, 44, a former partner at the Indianapolis-based Barnes & Thornburg, was found in her home, the apparent victim of homicide.

Police discovered her body after her estranged husband, David Frisby, shot himself at a parking garage near the firm, which she’d recently left, reports Channel 6 in Indianapolis.

The news outlet reports that the couple was getting a divorce. Police went to Mary Jane Frisby’s home after finding a tape recording apparently left by David Frisby in his car, WTHR Channel 13 reports.

Late Thursday afternoon, Barnes & Thornburg staff were under lockdown, told by police to stay away from exterior walls which had been penetrated by two bullets, firm partner Don Knebel told Indiana Lawyer.

Knebel told the publication that lawyers were getting news updates about the shooting on their BlackBerrys.

“Indiana Supreme Court public information officer Kathryn Dolan, who has an office in the 30 S. Meridian building across from the parking garage, said several people in the Division of State Court Administration heard the gunshots and saw the man shoot himself and then fall from the garage,” Indiana Lawyer reports.

Frisby is believed to have fired six shots from the top floor of the parking garage before shooting himself, then falling to the ground below, according to several news reports.

“He turned and it’s like he looked directly at us and fired two shots,” Barnes & Thornburg lawyer Anthony Prather told Channel 6.

Channel 6 reports that David Frisby, 58, had posted a message on Facebook condemning the law firm, writing, “The bad lawyers at the Barnes & Thornburg law firm … do not respect the institution of marriage and corrupted my wife Mary Jane (sex and drugs). Someone (maybe one of their good lawyers) please make them pay. Justice demands the truth out. It’s a tragedy.”

Barnes & Thornburg Managing Partner Alan A. Levin released a statement Thursday, saying, “The Barnes & Thornburg family is deeply saddened by the tragic incidents that occurred today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family of our beloved former partner, Mary Jane Frisby. Mary Jane was a valued member of Barnes & Thornburg for several years. She will be missed by all of us. This is a very sad day for the firm.”

Last week, Mary Jane Frisby left the firm to accept a position at Cummins, according to Channel 13. Cached versions of her profile at the firm show that she was a longtime IP lawyer, who handled IP litigation and non-litigation enforcement matters.

The couple’s adult son and high-school aged daughter were not believed to be at the couple’s home at the time Mary Jane Frisby was killed.

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