Aspen man faces his would-be killers | AspenTimes.com

Aspen man faces his would-be killers

Charles Agar
Aspen, CO Colorado

ASPEN ” The memories of the horrific attack on him and his then-fiancee remain fresh, but Aspen resident David Bovino said he prefers not to play victim. Instead, in his own words, he would rather play victor.

Bovino recently returned to Aspen from South Africa, where he testified in the trial of three of men who nearly killed him and his then-fiancee in August 2006 when they were vacationing off the eastern coast of South Africa.

Bovino, who suffered gunshot wounds to his chest and leg, said this week that testifying in the trial was a cathartic experience.

Bovino is fully recovered and Webster still alternates between crutches and a wheelchair as a result of her injuries, but both suffer deep emotional trauma in the wake of the incident, Bovino said.

“Basically we both thank God that we’re alive,” Bovino, 28, said.

But his recent week-long trip to South Africa ” he was joined by his father, Jerry

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Bovino, who lives in Aspen “was an important step in the healing process, he said.

In the high court of South Africa, Bovino identified the men charged with his attempted murder. The trial won’t resume until August because the court is on

holiday.

The men ” three of five involved in the home invasion and attack ” could each face years in prison, Bovino said.

Violent attacks are common in South Africa and even the defense attorneys of the accused attackers were apologetic for the incident, Bovino said.

“It was good to go back there and see some form of justice,” he said.

During his trip, Bovino also returned to the rural cabin where the attack occurred and where police found 11 empty gun shells after the incident.

Returning to the cottage was a chance to “walk through what happened,” and revisit a place Bovino said is compartmentalized in his mind.

“There’s still a lot of pain and sadness there,” Bovino said.

His week in South Africa was also an important chance to spend time with Webster.

Nearly two years after the incident, Bovino is reflective, saying he has the choice to be a “victim or a victor.”

“I’ve been able to grow a lot as a person and approach my relationships with people in a more spiritual way,” Bovino said. “There have been positives that came from this huge negative.”

And he hopes that as a result of his experience, he can be of some help to others who’ve been through trauma.

“I really owe a great deal of debt to the community of Aspen,” he said, acknowledging many people who’ve helped him and members of his family.

Physically, Bovino is in good shape, though, and he recently finished law school in California, passed the bar there, and is working for a Snowmass Village firm.

“What helps me most to deal with this whole situation is to work really hard and keep busy,” Bovino said.

He plans to take the Colorado bar exam, and recently started a company that sells

political party-affiliate wristbands in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election.

cagar@aspentimes.com