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Graziano may try to plead no contest in murder solicitation case

LARGO — Edward Graziano may offer to plead no contest this morning to a charge that he tried to hire someone to kill his wife.

Graziano, 55, was arrested in February 2009 on a charge of solicitation to commit murder.

Pinellas sheriff's officials said Graziano offered $2,100 and a pizza gift card to an undercover deputy for help hiring a hit man to bump off his wife, Debra.

The Grazianos' son, John, suffered catastrophic injuries in a car crash blamed on Nick Bollea, the son of Terry Bollea, who is better known as Hulk Hogan.

Graziano's lawyer, John Trevena, said Thursday that his client was prepared to plead no contest to the charge at a hearing this morning.

Graziano does not have an agreement in place with prosecutors, so a sentence would be up to Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Timothy Peters.

Trevena said Graziano wishes to preserve his right to appeal.

Assistant State Attorney Scott Rosenwasser said he planned to argue that Graziano would not be allowed to keep all his rights to appeal if he pleaded to the charge.

Rosenwasser said the state also would prefer that Graziano plead guilty rather than no contest.

Graziano has been held at the Pinellas County Jail on $100,000 bail since his arrest.

Graziano may try to plead no contest in murder solicitation case 03/10/11 [Last modified: Friday, March 11, 2011 12:00am]
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