UPDATE: Jury finds Hiram Lewis not guilty - Business, Government Legal News from throughout WV

UPDATE: Jury finds Hiram Lewis not guilty

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After a Clay County jury found former political candidate, Hiram Lewis, not guilty of maliciously shooting another person in the leg, Lewis says he's just glad the trial is over.

"I'm feeling pretty good," Lewis told The State Journal. "It was a great relief. I can get to work now and get back to a regular life."

Lewis said he will continue with his ministry and his law practice. He also plans to create Kayakers for Christ, which would be kayak rentals for youth groups.

However, Lewis is not yet out of the woods. He still faces another charge of intimidation of a witness, which goes to trial Aug. 7.

Prosecutors allege Lewis intimidated former Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb, following the initial October shooting incident. Lewis said in a previous interview that he was just exercising his rights for redress of grievances.

In that interview, Lewis said he went to the sheriff's home, following the incident, wanting Holcomb to express a preference to prosecutors about Lewis' guilt.  Lewis said the sheriff told him that was unethical, but Lewis argues it wasn't because of a prosecutor's discretion.

"I'll be filing a writ of prohibition based on rule 8 of the rules of criminal procedure," he said. "That charge should have been joined with this indictment. … The prosecutor was supposed to indict me on all charges connected to the original charge. At that time, he should have been aware of those charges and should have indicted me at that time."

Trial began June 25 for Lewis, a former candidate for U.S. Senate and West Virginia attorney general. Lewis originally was indicted in November on charges of malicious wounding, domestic assault and wanton endangerment involving a firearm.

Another indictment later was filed, keeping the charges of domestic assault and malicious wounding, but dropping the wanton endangerment involving a firearm charge.

Lewis was arrested in June after he shot Steven Bogart in the leg Oct. 28. Lewis asserts the shooting was in self defense after Bogart tried to break into his home.

In his opening statements, Clay County prosecutor Jim Samples maintained Lewis shot Bogart maliciously.

Yet, Lewis' attorney, Herb Hiveley, explained Lewis met Bogart on the side of the road, when Lewis was moving his things into his new house. Hively said Lewis let Bogart stay in the house in exchange for fixing up the place.

Hively said Bogart fixed things around the house but got increasingly violent after his supply of marijuana and alcohol depleted.

The argument started, Hively continued in his opening statements, when Bogart grabbed Lewis by the arm. When Bogart got away, Lewis locked himself in one of the bedrooms.

Hively said Bogart tied the doors together to keep Lewis from getting out.

Lewis then got out of the bedroom through a passageway in his closet. Lewis then locked the door to the screen porch, where he maintains Bogart was staying.

Hively said Bogart then kicked the door down and charged in. Hively said even after Bogart was shot, he lunged at Lewis.

Additionally, Hively said in his opening arguments that Bogart has changed his story three times.

"I'm just glad it's over," Lewis said. "I look forward to a new beginning."

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