TAMARAC (CBS4) – The case captured national headlines — a man recording himself being shot on his iPhone — and there’s a new twist in the bizarre saga of a grandmother accused of shooting her son-in-law.
CBS4 News has learned that investigators are now looking into the actions of the victim’s wife on the day of the shooting.
A search warrant served by the Broward Sheriff’s Office reveals that investigators have obtained a pair of text messages that the suspect — Cheryl Hepner — sent to her daughter’s phone on the morning of the shooting. The warrant does not reveal what the messages say and BSO would not release them Thursday.
Hepner is charged with attempted murder. Her husband, Sheldon, is accused of being an accessory after the fact for lying to detectives about how and when his wife obtained the handgun she used in the shooting.
Salvatore Miglino is recovering from two bullet wounds.
The warrant also shows that investigators have questions about Vicki Miglino’s actions after she and son ate pizza at Milano Italian Grill just a block from her home on NW 57 Court. She and her child were at the restaurant while the shooting occurred.
According to the search warrant, Vicki Miglino told detectives when she left the restaurant she walked west and headed north on Pine Island Road. Then walked through several backyards to reach the back door of her home, while her mother was on the phone with 911.
But her home is to the east, which the warrant says would have been “the most direct route for Vicki Miglino to travel.”
The warrant says the detective “believes that Vicki Miglino may have also had knowledge of this incident by intentionally keeping herself from the incident location and purposely taking an indirect route back to her residence to avoid law enforcement.”
A woman came to the door of the Miglino home Thursday but she walked away without answering questions.
Vicki Miglino has not been charged with a crime. The Broward Sheriff’s Office will only say that the case remains under investigation.
On the afternoon of December 7th, BSO detectives say Cheryl Hepner met Miglino outside of her home with the boy’s pillow and bag and told him to come into the house because his father-in-law wanted to talk to him. Miglino declined and when he asked for the pillow and bag, Hepner, 66, pulled a handgun out from behind the pillow and fired three shots at her son-in-law, according to BSO.
Miglino told investigators he anticipated a confrontation so he started recording on his iPhone.
With the iPhone camera rolling, it captured the violent, sudden attack.
Wounded in his ribcage and shoulder, Miglino landed on top of her in the front yard.
On the recording, he is heard screaming, “I can’t believe you did that. I can’t believe you shot me.” She uses profanity and repeatedly tells him to get off of her. Afterward, she told authorities that Miglino had tried to shoot her but she knocked the gun out of his hand, picked it up and shot him instead.
Each side told different versions of the story to 911 operators.
Hepner: I tried to grab the gun and shoot. I don’t know.
911: Did you guys scuffle for the gun?
Hepner: Yes he had me down on the floor on the ground outside.
911: Did he pull the gun on you or did you pull it on him?
Hepner: No he pulled the gun on me and he’s got it and he drove away.
But Miglino told a 911 dispatcher a different story.
Miglino: Oh my God. I’m shot.
MIglino: I took the gun away from her. I have it.
911: Where are you shot?
Miglino: On my shoulder and on my side. I can’t believe she shot me!
Detectives said Hepner planned the attack and was arrested the following day and charged with attempted first-degree murder.
Investigators say Sheldon Hepner told detectives he hasn’t had a gun in his house for years. However, detectives tracked the gun to Cheryl Hepner’s brother, Harvey Stein of Lake Worth, who after initially lying to detectives, tearfully admitted that he gave the gun to the Hepners’ a few weeks before the shooting so they could defend themselves against Salvatore Miglino.
Stein told detectives he loaded the gun, told them how to operate it and told them that they had to do was pull the trigger.