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By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated August 14, 1998 12:00 AM
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Gonzo author-journalist Hunter S. Thompson was cleared of criminal charges Tuesday following the shooting of his assistant last week. Authorities in Aspen, Colo., where Hunter, 63, lives, said the writer’s wounding of his assistant, Deborah Fuller, 58, with a shotgun blast was accidental. They said Thompson, whose novel “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” was made into a 1988 movie of the same name starring Johnny Depp, was merely trying to scare a bear off his property and, essentially, that Fuller’s timing could not have been worse. On July 27, she apparently stepped out of her cabin and toward Hunter’s house — directly into the line of fire. Gravel on the dirt path in front of Fuller ricocheted into her arm and leg, reported the Associated Press, and she was treated and released. No word on whether or not Hunter intends to give her a raise.