Graziano faces trial Dec. 15

August 5th, 2009 by

CLEARWATER - A judge set a trial date this morning in the case of Edward Graziano, who is accused of trying to hire a hit man to kill his wife, Debra.

Judge R. Timothy Peters set a date of Dec. 15. The trial is expected to last three days.

Graziano, 53, was arrested Feb. 26 on a charge of solicitation to commit murder. Authorities say he tried to get a private investigator, initially hired to follow Debra, to arrange to have her killed.

By virtue of the criminal charge, Graziano was also seen to have violated his probation in a 2007 case in which he struck his wife and spat on a law enforcement officer who investigated the assault.

If convicted, Graziano faces a prison sentence ranging from 6.4 years to a maximum of 40 years, prosecutors say.

The Grazianos are the parents of John Graziano, the Iraq war veteran left in a semiconscious state after he was injured while riding in a car driven by Nick Bollea, the son of former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

The Graziano family is suing Hogan, his ex-wife Linda Bollea, Nick Bollea, and a man Nick Bollea was racing with at the time of the crash. The family thinks the Bolleas are liable for John’s injuries and are seeking millions of dollars.

At the time of the alleged murder-for-hire plot, Edward Graziano didn’t have a job and was in fear of losing his home, according to court documents. One motive for having his wife killed is that, without her, he would be in charge of John Graziano’s care and have at his access any funds won in the Bollea suit, according to the documents.

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