NEW PORT RICHEY — Under Florida's "stand your ground" law, a jury this week acquitted a Hudson man who shot his neighbor.
Anthony Boglino of 18252 Thomas Blvd. was charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and faced 25 years to life in prison if convicted, said his defense attorney, Chris Frey.
Authorities said Boglino, 64, fired one shot at his neighbor, Haigh Frank Kopoain, late on May 13, 2008. Both men were in the yard of another neighbor when they got into an argument.
Boglino testified that he felt threatened when Kopoain, then 36, became angry, charged at him and yelled at him to leave the property, Frey said. Boglino has arthritis in his hands and couldn't defend himself.
Boglino pulled a 22-caliber revolver from his pocket to protect himself, Frey said. When Kopoain charged again, Boglino fired at his abdomen.
Florida's stand your ground law, passed in 2005, expanded on an earlier law that allowed people to use deadly force to defend themselves in their own houses. The 2005 law said you can defend yourself anywhere.
The jury in Boglino's case was asked to consider that law when deliberating. Their instruction required them to place themselves in the position of the shooter and determine if the person acted reasonably.
They deliberated less than two hours Monday night before returning the not guilty verdict.
"Obviously Mr. Boglino is very pleased with the jury's verdict and feels that justice was served," Frey said. "However, all parties involved regret that Mr. Kopoain suffered the injury."
Kopoain has recovered from the gunshot. He could not be reached for comment.
Molly Moorhead can be reached at [email protected] or (727) 869-6245.