Ohio Man Convicted for Shooting Neighbor

Thursday, July 27, 2006

ELYRIA, Ohio — An 84-year-old man charged with shooting a neighbor was acquitted of attempted murder but convicted of felonious assault in a dispute over the construction of a garage.

After the verdict Wednesday in Lorain County Common Pleas Court, Paul Hashman told The (Lorain) Morning Journal that he wanted to die in jail. He said he didn't know if he would have a place to live or money to live on if he was released.

"I want to die in jail,"Hashman said in a jailhouse interview."I want to be right in jail and get it over with."

Hashman was not on suicide watch early Thursday at Lorain County Jail, a jail officer told The Associated Press. He has been jailed since his arrest and will be sentenced Friday.

Hashman became upset after his neighbor, Darrell Oskins, built a garage in 1998 to accommodate his hobby of working on antique cars.

Though the city said it complied with zoning regulations, the garage enraged Hashman, who complained about its size and closeness to the property line. He also said it blocked his view.

Years of bickering ensued, until Hashman shot Oskins in January 2004 while Oskins used a snow blower.

Hashman testified that he shot Oskins, a 54-year-old steelworker, because he feared his neighbor would grind his feet off with the snow blower. Hashman said he carried a small .22-caliber pistol for protection.

Oskins testified the shooting was unprovoked. The wounds from six or seven shots left him in the hospital for almost five months, including two months in a drug-induced coma. He lost a kidney, his appendix, and part of his colon and has been unable to work.

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