Sunday, July 23, 2006


By all accounts, neighbors Paul Hashman and Darrell Oskins lived peacefully for many years in this Cleveland suburb. That all changed when Mr. Oskins did a little home remodeling.

Mr. Oskins, a 54-year-old steelworker who worked on antique cars, built a garage in 1998 to accommodate his hobby.

Though the city said it complied with zoning regulations, the garage enraged Mr. Hashman, 84. He complained about its size and closeness to the property line and that it blocked his view.

The men’s bickering erupted into violence in January 2004. Prosecutors say Mr. Hashman wounded Mr. Oskins with a .22-caliber pistol as Mr. Oskins used a snowblower.

Now the two neighbors are continuing their feud in court.

Mr. Hashman faces at least 13 years in prison if convicted of attempted murder and felonious assault with a firearm. His trial began last week.

Mr. Hashman — with a white crew cut, gray blazer and open-collar white shirt — sat ramrod-straight at the defense table, staring steadily at Mr. Oskins during the neighbor’s testimony.

Mr. Oskins stared back at Mr. Hashman on several occasions but mostly addressed his comments and glances to attorneys and jurors.

Mr. Oskins said the attack occurred without provocation. He said he had waited until midmorning, to avoid making noise too early, to use his snowblower. Mr. Hashman approached him, shot him in the shoulder and the leg and kept firing as he fell to the ground, Mr. Oskins said.

The wounds from six or seven shots left Mr. Oskins 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. He has been unable to work.

Police had been called to separate the neighbors on numerous occasions. Before the shooting, the worst confrontation was in 2003, when the son, daughter and wife of Mr. Oskins accused Mr. Hashman of threatening the daughter with a gun.

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