Lawyer of the Day, Violence

Lawyer of the Day: Indiana Lawyer Accused of Beating Her Boyfriend, Roughing Up Corrections Officer

Do not mess with this woman.

In general people are not as outraged about domestic violence when the perpetrator is a woman. For whatever reason, people tend to think that male victims of domestic violence “had it coming” in some way. You can make a hit Broadway musical centered around women who kill their husbands — but I’m going to guess that the Wife Beater Waltz wouldn’t do as well as the Cell Block Tango.

So when a woman does decide to beat her boyfriend, it’s kind of nice when she also exhibits additional crazy and violent behavior. At least then, people are less likely to blame the victim.

But maybe Indiana lawyer Olubunmi Okanlami can argue that all of her alleged victims had it coming. Who knows what her boyfriend did or did not do, but Okanlami is an attorney. Maybe when she was arrested for battery she knew enough about the penal system to think that fighting her way out would be more effective than trying to put together a reasonable defense? Some lawyers use the strategy of putting two different legal arguments in their briefs, Okanlami allegedly tried to use two different undergarments to sharpen her attack [UPDATE on her law school after the jump]….

Okanlami allegedly engaged in various acts of violence, starting with beating up her boyfriend. WISH-TV has the report:

Okanlami was arrested Nov. 20 in the 5200 block of East Walunt Street. Her boyfriend lives at the house. Police said she kicked in his front door while he was upstairs sleeping and then went on an attack.

“Pretty bad battery took place,” [Marion County Prosecutor Carl Brizzi] said… Investigators said Okanlami attacked her boyfriend so bad he ran back upstairs and locked himself in his bedroom to escape.

“He had clumps of his hair and scalp torn from his head. The police observed that on the floor so they took her into custody,” Brizzi said.

Okanlami suspected that her boyfriend was having an affair.

It’s possible that the boyfriend narrowly escaped further harm. The cops arrived and Okanlami was taken into custody before she could unleash her secret weapon:

When officers took Okanlami to the arrestee processing center, she was ordered, by department policy, to walk through a metal detector. That metal detector indicated she was carrying contraband.

According to the probable cause affidavit, Okanlami was escorted to a search room where a female deputy ordered her to remove her clothes and bra. Investigators said Okanlami was wearing two bras and was concealing a folding pocket knife with a one inch blade between them.

“A switch blade that she was carrying in between two bras she was wearing that night,” Brizzi said.

I’m pretty sure this is a Pam Grier move from Coffy or Foxy Brown or one of those movies where she also puts razor blades in her kickin’ afro to hurt people who try to pull her hair (if you only know who Pam Grier is because of Jackie Brown, you don’t even understand what Tarantino was trying to do in that movie).

Now here’s the scary thing. According to law enforcement, only after Okanlami beat her boyfriend and got caught trying to sneak a switchblade into prison did she get really angry:

Investigators said Okanlami became extremely aggressive after the search. In the charging documents police said she struck a deputy with her open hand in the face and clawed the deputy in the left eye, causing bleeding.

This seems like a great time to remind people that this is an attorney we’re talking about. This woman graduated from some kind of law school. She passed the Indiana Bar. And now she’s allegedly beating boyfriends, hiding knives in her bosom, and gouging out the eyes of prison guards. How did she pass the MPRE — did she threaten a grader or something?

Given her profession, this has to be the understatement of the year:

[H]er status with the Indiana Law Review Board is pending.

No doubt. But I wouldn’t want to be the person who had to tell her she was up for disciplinary review. Not unless somebody gave her a TSA pat-down and put her on the Hannibal Lecter gurney first.

UPDATE (2:15 PM): A reader gave us a little more information about Okanlami’s background:

[Okanlami] was Indiana Law ’07, and Duke ’04 undergrad. She’s actually an incredibly smart woman, an excellent orator and can be very caring. But you certainly didn’t want to cross her, obviously. Even in law school she was an absolute terror when you pissed her off.

You had me at “Duke.”

UPDATE (10/10/11): Okanlami’s law license has been suspended. Here’s the Indiana Supreme Court order.

Cops: Attorney beat boyfriend, officer [WISH-TV]
Indiana Roll of Attorneys: Olubunmi Okanlami [Indiana Supreme Court]

(hidden for your protection)

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