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Granny Who Allegedly Shot Son-In-Law Pleads Not Guilty

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Cheryl Hepner pleaded not guilty on January 11, 2012 in the shooting of Salvatore Miglino. (Source: CBS4)

Cheryl Hepner pleaded not guilty on January 11, 2012 in the shooting of Salvatore Miglino. (Source: CBS4)

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South Florida Crime

TAMARAC (CBS4)- South Florida’s so-called “gun-toting granny” who is accused of shooting her son-in law at point-blank range outside her house appeared in court Wednesday.

Cheryl Hepner pleaded not guilty in the shooting of Salvatore Miglino. Hepner is charged with attempted murder.

The shooting was all caught on camera. Miglino recorded the incident on his iPhone.

According to his attorney, Miglino still has two bullets in him and they are dangerous to remove at this point.

On January 5, CBS4News reported that investigators are 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.

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. Read more here.

Hepner’s husband, Sheldon, was 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.

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.
911: Ok
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 said 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 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.

Sheldon Hepner’s lawyer, Anthony Alfero, told CBS4 that the charges against his client were declined Friday, which basically meant that there wasn’t not enough evidence.

Sheldon Hepner was in hospice, according to Alfero. He passed away on Saturday, January 7.  He learned the charges were dropped before he died.

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