CLAY, W.Va. – Hiram Lewis, acquitted Wednesday of malicious wounding, told MetroNews that taking the stand during his trial was a chance he was willing to take.
“I had nothing to hide and I wanted to tell my story,” he said.
Lewis was arrested June 13, 2012, when he shot Stephen Bogart in the knee after Bogart broke into Lewis’ home in Procious. Lewis said it was his God-given right to protect himself in that circumstance.
“I exercised my right, my fundamental right, under the Constitution, to act in self defense,” said Lewis, an attorney who has unsuccessfully run for state and federal office, including West Virginia attorney general and the U.S. Senate.
He felt he was targeted in the investigation and unfairly prosecuted. “I should never have been arrested,” he said. When it came time for a jury to decide his fate, the jurors determined he did not break the law.
“Twelve individuals looked at the facts of this case and realized there was no evidence that I did not act in self defense,” he said.
Even though he’s been acquitted, Lewis said the damage is done.
“Oh, it’s destroyed my reputation!”
What’s next for Lewis? He said he’s relieved he’ll get to keep his law license and plans to celebrate the upcoming holiday with a new outlook.
“This Fourth of July really has a special meaning to me. It truly is Independence Day!”
Lewis credited his faith in helping him make it through the past year.
MetroNews reached out to Clay County prosecutor Jim Samples for a comment on the verdict, but he did not immediately return a call.