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EX-CANDIDATE ENTERS PLEA IN SHOOTING WIFE OF FOE

A former state legislative candidate pleaded no contest to attempted-murder charges Monday that he shot into the home of an opponent and wounded the man's wife.

Eric Kaplan, a Democratic challenger to State Rep. Bob Starks, was charged with hitting Judith Starks in the leg when he fired randomly into windows at the Starks' Maitland home in 1992.

Kaplan, 33, said that he was suffering from manic depression and that he was ordered by a "higher force" to scare Starks out of the race.

Kaplan was found guilty in 1995 of attempted felony murder, armed burglary and shooting into an occupied building but was granted a new trial after the state's Supreme Court abolished the charge of attempted felony murder.

He could get seven to 22 years in prison on the three charges.

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