Former political figure embroiled in controversy headed to trial

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NEW:

A former political figure embroiled in controversy is headed to trial Tuesday.

Hiram Lewis, a former treasurer for the West Virginia Republican Party and a candidate for West Virginia Attorney General and U.S. Senate, is scheduled to appear in Clay County Court Tuesday.

Lewis, an attorney, is accused of malicious wounding and domestic assault, both felonies. Earlier this year, a judge dismissed a third charge for wanton endangerment.

"When I meet people they say, ‘Oh, you're that crazy lawyer who shot somebody,'" Lewis said. "It's devastating to your career and your livelihood and your way of life."

A criminal complaint from June 2012 states that West Virginia State Police responded to a call where Lewis currently lives in Procious. Troopers discovered a man named Steven Bogart lying on the porch, bleeding from the leg. The complaint states that Bogart claimed to live at the residence and accused Lewis of shooting him.

Lewis said he was allowing Bogart to stay on his porch in exchange for beer and housework. He claimed Bogart was intoxicated that evening and tried to break into the house, prompting Lewis to shoot the man in the knee.

"I don't even know why I'm being charged, I don't know why they've pushed it this far, and they continue to ignore the truth," said Lewis, who maintains he shot Bogart in self-defense.

"We had arm wrestled a couple times and I knew he was pretty big."

The attorney, who moved from Morgantown in early 2012, said Bogart was an alcoholic. Lewis said he wanted to help wean the man off his addiction. He admitted to 13NEWS that he purchased vodka for Bogart at least once, but only permitted the man to drink between certain hours of the day.

"He could only have three drinks and I had to mix them with Sierra Mist and vodka," Lewis said.

Nearly six months after the shooting, Lewis was arrested on another charge: intimidation of a witness, a misdemeanor. That witness was former Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb.

Lewis firmly denies he tried to intimidate Holcomb in order to dismiss his felony charges.

In November 2012, a grand jury indicted Lewis on his felony charges. In the meantime, he tries to keep himself busy. Deeply religious, Lewis loves musky fishing, jigsaw puzzles, and his dog. He said more than anything, this keeps him afloat:

"It's the greatest thing in the world," said Lewis, with tears in his eyes. "The greatest wisdom you can possibly get is the peace of god."

Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Samples would not comment on the case or the pending trial.

Lewis is scheduled to appear in Clay County Court Tuesday.

 


 

ORIGINAL:

A former political candidate embroiled in controversy is headed to trial Tuesday.

Hiram Lewis, a former candidate for West Virginia Attorney General and U.S. Senate, is scheduled to appear in Clay County Court Tuesday.

Lewis, an attorney, is accused of malicious wounding and domestic assault, both felonies.

A criminal complaint from June 2012 states that West Virginia State Police responded to a call where Lewis currently lives in Procious.  Troopers discovered a man named Steven Bogart lying on the porch of house, bleeding from the leg.  The complaint states that Bogart claimed to live at the residence and accused Lewis of shooting him.

Lewis told 13 News Monday he was letting Bogart stay on his porch in exchange for beer and housework.  He claimed Bogart was intoxicated and tried to break into the house; he said he shot Bogart in self-defense.

The Clay County prosecuting attorney would not answer any questions about the case.


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