RAW NEWSHiram Lewis Jailhouse Interview
from Eyewitness News Online
Former political candidate defends shooting from behind bars
June 14, 2012
A former GOP candidate and lawyer is defending himself from behind bars after shooting a man on his front porch in Clay County.
Eyewitness News broke the story on Wednesday.
Hiram Lewis, 41, of Morgantown still stands by his claim he shot Steven Bogart in self-defense. Lewis goes into more detail in a half-hour long, sometimes hard to understand and rambling interview about how a man he says he was trying to help...threatened to kill him.
"There's no prosecutor that could win this case," said Lewis from the Central Regional Jail. That's because, according to him, he was scared for his life when he says Bogart broke down his door, and threatened his life.
"He came in the house, lunged after me, said he was going to kill me and I shot him in the knee cap," says Lewis.
The history between Lewis and Bogart isn't a very long one. Lewis says he picked up the former Marine Sgt. Major on the road about a week ago, and took him in to help him remodel his bathroom and set up a pin to house his goats so he could put on "goat shows" for children.
Lewis says he shut down his Morgantown law office to pursue a dream of starting a Christian based camp for kids.
He decided to start it at a home along the Elk River in Procious, a place he dubbed "Paradise Beach."
"What I've always wanted to do was give back," he said.
Lewis claims Bogart started to act very strange a few days after he took him in, but he didn't want to kick him out.
"I didn't realize the depth of his physciatric problems when I allowed him to stay on my screen porch, but there's clearly a dividing line between the deadbolts that protected me in the house and the screen porch where he was staying, and he was working for food basically," said Lewis.
It wasn't until Wednesday when things took a violent turn.
"He started yelling immediately when he woke up. Yelling at me, yelling at the goats, yelling at the dog, yelling at the neighbor," said Lewis.
"I made two rules at the camp, one: you had to do everything captain Lewis said, which I was Captain Lewis. And two: you had to do everything Sgt. Major Hoorah said, and he was Sgt. Major Hoorah. And if there was a conflict, see rule number one, which was what Captain Lewis says and, he wouldn't, that was the first day he wouldn't do what I said," said Lewis.
Lewis says self-defense and the Castle Doctrine should clear him of any charges, and he thinks Bogart is the one who should be charged. But it's a case that will ultimately play out in court, as a former lawyer and political candidate defends his case in a jail cell.
"Do you wish you wouldn't have picked him up?" asked Eyewitness News reporter Leslie Rubin.
"That's a hard question, a tough question, because there were some blessings as a result of our meeting each other, and I hope something good comes out of this," said Lewis.
Bogart is still recovering at a Charleston hospital.
State police are not releasing many details about the shooting, but their reason for filing charges seem to be the point that Bogart was technically living in the home, therefore not breaking in.
They are asking for anyone with background information on the incident to give them a call.
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