Former 'Boston Legal' actor Mentell dies in Iowa County crash

2010-02-01T17:10:00Z Former 'Boston Legal' actor Mentell dies in Iowa County crashBy George Hesselberg | ghesselberg@madison.com | 608-242-6140 madison.com

An artist and actor who co-starred on the ABC television series “Boston Legal” was found dead Monday morning near his wrecked Jeep in rural Iowa County, the Iowa County Sheriff’s Department reported.

The 2005 Jeep of Justin M. Mentell, 27, of Waukegan, Ill., was found down a steep embankment off Highway 39, near Moscow Road north of Blanchardville. Someone saw the car while driving along Moscow Road, the only spot from which the wrecked car was visible, said Chief Deputy Jon Pepper.

He said there was no indication of what Mentell was doing in the area. Mentell reportedly had friends in Madison, Pepper said.

The Jeep went off the road and struck two trees, and Mentell, who was driving alone and not wearing seat belt, was thrown from the vehicle, Pepper said. The wreck was discovered at 8:30 a.m., Pepper said, and it was believed to have occurred after 3 a.m. Mentell was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash.

The Gorgen Funeral Home in Mineral Point was handling local arrangements, but the funeral will likely by in Texas, funeral home officials said.

Mentell portrayed attorney Garrett Wells on “Boston Legal” from 2005 to 2006.

A native of Texas, Mentell was also known from his high school days in Waukegan as a promising speed skater, competing on the Junior National Speed Skating long track team. He was a 2005 graduate of Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, where he was recently honored as a distinguished graduate of the fine arts program.

According to the university’s biography of Mentell, he started acting as a child in the Northbrook Children’s Theater. As an adult he also appeared in several independent films and the 2009 Disney film “G-Force.”

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