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Graziano's Dad Arrested for Soliciting Hit Man

2/26/2009 4:40 PM PST BY TMZ STAFF

john graziano: breaking newsThe father of John Graziano, the young man left in a vegetative state after Nick Hogan's 2007 car crash, was arrested today for trying to solicit a hit man to kill his estranged wife -- and cops say he tried to pay for it using a gift card.

According to police, Edward Graziano told an undercover officer posing as a "go-between" to a hit man that he wanted to have his wife Debra killed. Perhaps most troubling -- cops say Graziano wanted her killed in an automobile accident.

Graziano allegedly paid for the hit with $1,100 cash, a $1,000 personal check and a $13.06 gift card to Westshore Pizza.

The arrest is the culmination of a two-and-half month long undercover investigation by the Sheriff's Office Criminal Investigative Division.

Debra's attorney released this statement: "She is saddened by all of this. She can't believe so much tragedy can strike one family. Her main purpose is concentrating on John getting better."

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