LARGO — The attempted murder-for-hire charge against Edward Graziano should be dismissed, because Pinellas deputies entrapped him and investigated a case primarily based in Hillsborough County, his attorney says in new court filings.
Lawyer John Trevena also is seeking to throw out evidence for similar reasons.
Trevena said his research has uncovered problems with the case against Graziano, who was accused last year of attempting to hire someone to kill his wife for a payment of $2,100 plus a $13.06 Westshore Pizza gift card.
But Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser doesn't see it that way.
"It is our position none of the issues have any merit," Rosenwasser said.
Graziano, 54, is the father of John Graziano, who was seriously injured in a crash involving Nick Bollea, son of professional wrestler Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan.
Ed Graziano allegedly discussed killing his wife, saying at one point in a recorded conversation, "I mean yes it would be nice to f------ kill her (laughter). Well I don't know if I wanna f------ leave my kids motherless."
Graziano waffled about whether to go through with the plan, but deputies "tenaciously pursued the defendant, despite his vacillation over a two-month period," a motion to dismiss the case says. The motion says deputies "continued in this dogged pursuit until the defendant ultimately provided the money" for the alleged plot.
Trevena also says that since the plot was hatched in Tampa, Pinellas deputies had no jurisdiction.
But Rosenwasser said other conversations occurred in Pinellas and that Graziano and his wife both lived in Pinellas.