Edward Graziano sentenced to 10 years in murder for hire case

3:19 PM, May 13, 2011   |    comments
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CLEARWATER, Florida -- A Pinellas County judge sentenced Edward Graziano to 10 years in prison after he pleaded no contest to a charge of solicitation to commit murder.

Prosecutors say he tried to arrange for a hit man to kill his wife, Debra. Officials said Graziano offered the man $2,100 and a pizza gift card.

Graziano is the father of John Graziano, left permanently brain damaged after a 2007 crash where he was a passenger of Nick Bollea, son of wrestler Hulk Hogan.

Graziano's lawyer says his client has not, and won't, admit guilt. Lawyer John Trevena says the whole thing is Graziano's reaction to a shaky marriage and contends his client was set up.

In court Friday, the defense argued mental health issues brought on by PTSD and depression caused by his son's accident caused his actions.

But the prosecutor painted a different picture, saying Graziano's violent behavior and spousal abuse started long before the accident.

Graziano's wife told the judge she wanted a long sentence for her safety and their children's peace of mind.

Sentencing guidelines called for between 6 1/2 to 40 years in prison.

10 News and The Associated Press

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