Hiram Lewis prepares for June 25 trial - WBOY.com: Clarksburg, Morgantown: News, Sports, Weather

Hiram Lewis prepares for June 25 trial

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A former candidate for West Virginia attorney general said he is not worried about tomorrow's trial, which will determine his guilt or innocence of various charges resulting from shooting another person in the leg.

Hiram Lewis, a former candidate for U.S. Senate, 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. Lewis asserts the shooting was in self defense after Bogart tried to break into his home.

Trial starts June 25 in Clay County Circuit Court but Lewis said he knows he will be exonerated but for right now, he said he is living in the moment.

"I'm seizing the day," he said. "Even if they were able to get a jury to convict me somehow—which it would be miraculous if they did— I still would be OK. I could go to jail for life and still be OK because I have Jesus Christ."

Lewis recalled the time before the shooting, saying he met Bogart on the side of the road near his house.

"He was walking and I stopped to talk to him and gave him a ride," Lewis said.

Later, Lewis said he let Bogart stay on his covered porch.

"I wanted to help him out and give him a place to stay," Lewis said. "More importantly, I wanted to minister him and meet his spiritual needs."

Lewis asserts Bogart first assaulted him in the back bedroom, which is when he said he got him out of the house and latched the door.

"I waited for him to calm down and I met him at the door. He put his boot in the door as I shut it and held it open. I talked him down so that I could try to get next door and call the police and he agreed to pull his boot out. When I latched it on him after he pulled his boot out, he went psycho."

Bogart later filed a two-page civil action against Lewis, saying he was an invited guest to Lewis' home and Lewis "negligently and or recklessly" shot him in the knee.

As a result, the suit continues, Bogart said he suffered debilitating and permanent physical injury and is confined to a wheelchair.

Lewis subsequently filed his answer and counterclaims against Bogart, former Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb, the West Virginia State Police and Samples. Samples later was dismissed from the suit.

In his counterclaim, Lewis said Bogart kicked down the door and "charged in."

 "He threatened to kill me," Lewis said. "The deadbolt is still busted. I gave him the warning and I escalated the use of force that is proper under the state of West Virginia and the U.S. Constitution."

"I would have been justified to shoot him in the heart and kill him," Lewis later added. "I escalated just enough to neutralize the threat. It's a gift I gave him so he could be saved someday. Our lives are very important. I don't have the authority under spiritual law to take a life. I had the right under state and national law to take a life but under the holy bible, I do not have the right. That's why I shot him in the knee."

Prosecutors also allege Lewis intimidated former Clay County Sheriff Randy Holcomb, following the incident. However, Lewis said he was just exercising his rights for redress of grievances.

He said he went to the sheriff's home, following the incident, wanting the sheriff 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 said, we have the authority on earth of checking ourselves and see what side we're working on. Are we working as the hand of the devil or the hand of God. I asked him if he was a member of the kingdom and if he considered himself saved. He said, ‘that's got nothing to do with this.' I said, ‘No, that has everything to do with this.' I said, ‘for example, Marshall Bailey did not know he would lose his life that day before he set out on patrol and he didn't know that would be his last day on Earth."

Lewis said the charges have destroyed his career.

"When you go around here, you meet people and they say, ‘you're that crazy lawyer who shot someone.' That's devastating to my career and livelihood," he said.  

However, Lewis said he harbors no malice against Bogart.

"I never held a grudge against him," he said. "I see people from a positive light as the child of God that they really are. He's a child of God and I've prayed for him. That's the most purest form of love you can give someone."