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Acquitted lawyer says shooting charge has ruined his career and political aspirations

Posted Jul 3, 2013 11:02 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A West Virginia lawyer says his problems haven’t ended with his acquittal for shooting a man.

Jurors acquitted Hiram Lewis of Procious, W.Va., last week, report the State Journal and the Daily Mail. He had been charged in a revised indictment with malicious wounding and domestic assault for shooting Stephen Bogart in the leg. Lewis claimed Bogart was trying to break into his home, while Bogart maintained he lived there.

Lewis spoke with both publications after his acquittal. He told the Daily Mail that the arrest has had a devastating effect on his legal career, his work as an evangelist and his political ambitions. Lewis has previously run for state attorney general.

"People call me the crazy lawyer who shot somebody," Lewis told the Daily Mail. "My name has been destroyed. It's very hard when someone Googles you and your picture shows up in an orange jumpsuit."

At trial, Lewis’ lawyer, Herb Hiveley, maintained his client allowed Bogart to live on the screened porch of Lewis' home in exchange for fixing up the place. According to Hiveley, Bogart became increasingly violent when his supply of marijuana and alcohol ran out. On the day of the shooting, Hively said, Bogart had grabbed Lewis’ arm and tried to lock Lewis in the bedroom. Lewis escaped and tried to lock Bogart out of the house, Hively said, but Bogart kicked down the door.

Lewis told the Daily Mail he wants to sue everyone associated with his arrest, and he is appealing a ruling that bars him from suing the county prosecutor. He still faces a charge of intimidating a witness, the State Journal says. The charge stems from Lewis' alleged effort to persuade the sheriff to talk to prosecutors about dropping the charges.

Prior coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Lawyer Who Narrowly Lost AG Race Is Charged in Shooting Case, Cites Castle Doctrine"

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