The East County photographer charged with attempted murder for the pipe bomb blast that nearly killed his then-wife took the witness stand in his own defense on Wednesday afternoon.
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Larry Hoagland repeatedly denied any involvement in the pipe-bombing of his then-wife's pickup truck. He said the two had drifted apart but he did not hate her.
He also admitted to having an affair with his high school sweetheart in Pennsylvania that lasted three and a half years.
Hoagland said he decided to break it off after Connie Hoagland was hospitalized in the wake of the explosion in September of 2010.
He testified that he told her he was re-committing to her.
"Number one: I did not do this," said Hoagland. "Number two: I had been seeing someone else and she was going to be hearing about it and I wanted to make sure she heard it from me.
Some of the most incriminating evidence against Hoagland was two cell phone numbers tucked into his wallet. The numbers corresponded to a pipe bomb in the street the week before the one that blew up, connected to one phone which was called repeatedly by the other.
He labeled his wallet a repository for junk and said the numbers belonged to another man who had been watching his photography studio.
"They were given to me by a transient that I call Jerry who I had a brief association with," said Hoagland. "I let him park his RV at the back of the studio for a little while and he gave them to me."
A computer expert tracked Internet sites viewed at Hoagland's office on Sept. 3, 2010, including search terms such as "build a bomb in 30 seconds," "phone igniter" and "homemade napalm." Hoagland denied looking up those websites.
Closing arguments are scheduled to be delivered on Thursday, with jury deliberations afterward.
If he is convicted, Hoagland could go to prison for life.
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