Family Law Attorney Killed, Client’s Ex-Husband, Suspect, Commits Suicide
Authorities found attorney Antonio Mari, 41, deceased in his law office last month. The suspect, Walter Samuel Radford, 33, was also discovered dead at his ex-wife’s home in her bed due to a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Mari had represented Radford’s former wife, Cindy, in a divorce battle that was also finalized in June. Police reported that Cindy Radford and the couple’s two children were not at home when Samuel committed suicide.
The police report stated that officers that gone to Mari’s office after Cindy Radford notified them that the suspect had called her and confessed to shooting the attorney. He also told her that he intended to take his own life.
“I just got a divorce from my husband, my ex-husband, who just called me and said he just went and shot my lawyer Antonio Mari and he’s going to go kill himself,” Cindy told dispatch. “I’m not sure how true that is but I wanted to know if someone could go and check on [Mari].”
Officers first found Radford’s late model Ford pickup parked at Cindy’s residence, and forcibly entered through the back door. They then discovered the suspect in the bedroom. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation assisted Cartersville police in its investigation, according to the report.
According to fellow lawyer, Tony Perrotta, Mari had said he was afraid of the former husband of one of his clients – so afraid, he had purchased a firearm to defend himself should something happen between them. “I think emotions run very high in family law,” Perotta said. “I think we have all been threatened or felt threatened at one time or another. He told authorities he had had guns at his office for at least the last two years to protect himself.
Mari graduated from the University of Georgia and spent a decade in the education field teaching high school history before established his law practice where he took on cases solo.
Lester Tate, an attorney and former president of the State Bar of Georgia, who was a friend of Mari’s, wrote on social media after his friend’s passing, “Today is perhaps one of the saddest in the history of the Bartow County Bar. Sometime this afternoon our colleague, Antonio Mari, was murdered in his law office. The perpetrator was, by all accounts, an unrepresented opposing party in a divorce case who then committed suicide. Antonio was a great credit to the legal profession, a former high school teacher, and as fine a human being as anyone could imagine. Just a few weeks ago I sat with him in the jury box down in Cobb while we waited for a calendar call and it’s hard to imagine his life prematurely snuffed out in such a senseless fashion. The practice of law is a high calling and, lest we forget, a sometimes dangerous one. Tonight, I ask you prayers for the family of this man who worked for justice, for my brothers and sisters at the Bar, and for all of those in our legal community.”