UPDATE: Charges Dropped in Burning of Jackson County Couple's Home

By: Associated Press, Todd Baucher Email
By: Associated Press, Todd Baucher Email
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UPDATE 10/16/2013 11:30 AM

RIPLEY, W.Va. (AP) - Charges are dropped against three people accused of burning a Jackson County couple's home while they were in jail.

Media outlets report that first-degree arson charges against 32-year-old Christopher Michael Hill, 50-year-old Colena Kay Martin and her son, 34-year-old Daniel Martin, were dropped without prejudice. That means the charges could be refiled.

The fire destroyed the home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon in May.

Peter Lizon was arrested in July in a malicious wounding case involving his wife. Those charges were dropped in August, in part because the woman denied the allegations and refused to cooperate with prosecutors.

Peter Lizon still faces a misdemeanor charge for allegedly violating conditions of his bail by being in contact with his wife.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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UPDATE: 09/06/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - The couple involved in a high-profile case of alleged domestic violence has lost custody of their newborn daughter.

Peter and Stephanie Lizon say Child Protective Services removed 3-week-old Bozena from their Leroy home.

Stephanie Lizon told the Charleston Daily Mail Thursday that she suspects the government is retaliating for her refusal to cooperate in the case against her husband.

The state agency that oversees CPS didn't immediately comment on the Lizons' allegations Friday.

A judge dismissed domestic battery and malicious wounding charges against Peter Lizon last month, partly because his wife denied the allegations.

In July 2012, she fled from her husband and told domestic violence shelter workers she had been held captive for the better part of a decade - beaten, burned and even shackled. She later recanted.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/19/2013

RIPLEY, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia judge has dismissed charges against a man accused of torturing his wife for years.

Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Evans granted the defense's request to dismiss the charges against Peter Lizon of Leroy following a brief hearing Monday morning.

Lizon's attorneys contended that authorities waited too long to prosecute him. They also alleged that there was a prosecutor conflict of interest.

Special prosecutor Craig Tatterson also had requested that the charges be dropped.

Lizon was charged last year with malicious wounding and domestic battery.

His wife, Stephanie, has denied the allegations against her husband and refused to cooperate with prosecutors. She has said the couple is the victim of an overzealous prosecution and unfounded stories by people who don't know them.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 08/19/2013

Charges have been dropped in a torture case in Ripley, West Virginia.

Peter Lizon had been accused of torturing his wife for years.

On Friday a special prosecutor had filed to have those charges dropped.

Todd Baucher is in Jackson Co. & will have more on our webchannel TheNewscenter.TV, WTAP News @ Noon, WTAP @ 5 & WTAP News @ 6.


Update: 8/16/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A special prosecutor has filed a motion to dismiss charges against a West Virginia man accused of torturing his wife for years.

Mason County Prosecutor Craig Tatterson on Friday cited a lack of admissible evidence in part for seeking to have malicious wounding and domestic battery charges dropped against Peter Lizon.

The motion also says the original prosecutor, Kennad Skeen, had removed himself from the case last month due to a conflict of interest because he previously represented the Lizons in criminal and civil matters.

A hearing on Lizon's previous dismissal motion is set for Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court. Lizon's attorney, Michael Hissam, says it's expected a judge also will consider the state's motion then.

Hissam also says Lizon's wife, Stephanie, gave birth to a girl on Thursday.
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UPDATE: 08/02/2013

RIPLEY, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia man accused of torturing his wife for years will be allowed to be there for the birth of their child.

Jackson County Judge Thomas Evans ruled Friday that Peter Lizon could have contact with his wife, Stephanie, who is due to give birth to their child this month.

Lizon is on home confinement. He faces three counts each of malicious wounding and domestic battery. Stephanie Lizon is not cooperating with prosecutors in the case.

Evans ruled that Stephanie Lizon can go to her husband's home, where she plans to give birth, and remain there for five days. The couple's first child also was delivered at home.

Peter Lizon's attorneys filed motions Thursday asking that the charges be dismissed. The judge will hear those arguments on Aug. 19.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATED: 06/27/2013

RAVENSWOOD, W.Va. (AP) - A grand jury has indicted a West Virginia man accused of torturing his wife.

Peter Lizon is charged with unlawful wounding. A Jackson County grand jury handed up the indictment Wednesday.

Court records show Lizon is scheduled to appear in Jackson County Circuit Court on Thursday.

Last July, Lizon's wife, Stephanie, fled from him while they were at a Parkersburg equipment rental company. A domestic violence shelter worker says Stephanie Lizon claimed her husband locked her up and beat her for years.

Stephanie Lizon later testified in court that her husband never beat her. She also said that allegations were no more than false, sensational stories told by people who don't know her or her husband.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Update 6/21/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - A West Virginia woman whose husband is accused of torturing her for years says the charges are exaggerated and prosecutors are pushing the case over her objections.

Stephanie Lizon told The Associated Press on Friday that authorities threatened to take her 2-year-old son away if she didn't cooperate. She said she and her husband, Peter Lizon, agreed to give permanent custody to her parents to prevent the state from taking him.

Jackson County Prosecutor Kenny Skeen did not return a telephone call requesting comment. A Department of Health and Human Resources spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email.

Last July, Lizon fled from her husband. A criminal complaint said she claimed he abused her for years.

Peter Lizon was charged but hasn't been indicted. Stephanie Lizon denied the allegations in court.

The AP obtained an interview with Lizon after her comments were first reported in The Charleston Gazette.

UPDATE: 05/03/2013

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia authorities say two people have been arrested on charges stemming from a fire at the home of a jailed Jackson County couple.

Jackson County Chief Deputy Herb Faber says 50-year-old Colena Kay Martin and 32-year-old Christopher Michael Hill, both of Ripley, were arraigned Friday afternoon on first-degree arson charges. A Jackson County magistrate set bond at $200,000 apiece.

They were being held in the South Central Regional Jail. Jail records didn't indicate whether they have attorneys.

The fire destroyed the home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon near Leroy. Sheriff Tony Boggs says the suspects had taken care of the Lizons' farm animals in the past.

The Lizons remained at the jail Friday. They were arrested this week on charges they violated a custody order for their young son.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


UPDATE: 05/03/2013

LEROY, W.Va. (AP) - West Virginia authorities say two people have been arrested on charges stemming from a fire at the home of a jailed Jackson County couple.

Jackson County Sheriff Tony Boggs tells media outlets that 50-year-old Colena Kay Martin and 32-year-old Christopher Michael Hill were arrested Friday and held in the South Central Regional Jail pending arraignment.

The fire destroyed the home of Peter and Stephanie Lizon near Leroy. Boggs says the suspects live together in Ripley and had taken care of the Lizons' farm animals in the past.

The Lizons remained at the jail Friday. They were arrested on charges they violated a custody order for their 2-year-old son.

Peter Lizon was arrested on a malicious wounding charge in a 2012 case involving his wife, who moved afterward to Alexandria, Va.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


Updated: 4/30/2013 4:35 P.M.

There's a new twist in the already bizarre case of a Jackson County couple.

They're now both in jail, in connection with the possible abduction of their son.

The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says Peter and Stephanie Lizon were found Monday with their two-year old child at the couple's home in Leroy.

Investigators say the child had been in the custody of Stephanie's parents, who live in Virginia.

Stephanie Lizon was charged with child concealment, while Peter Lizon is charged with obstructing an officer.

The couple first made headlines last summer, when Stephanie allegedly told a domestic violence worker her husband had abused, chained and tortured her for years; something she later denied at a hearing.

Both Lizons are now being held on bond at the South Central Regional Jail.

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Updated: 7/13/2012 6:45 P.M.

At one point, Stephanie Lizon looked on in disbelief as state and defense attorneys argued the admissability of testimony in a preliminary hearing for her husband, Peter.

He's accused of beating her with a frying pan and injuring her with tractor equipment at their rural Jackson County farm. On the stand, she denied those claims, as well as allegations of abuse during their ten-year marriage.

Defense Atttorney Shawn Bayless asked Mrs. Lizon: "Is your husband putting chains on you and binding you in the basement?"

To which she replied: "Absolutely not."

Bayless then asked: "Has your husband ever intentionally caused you any harm?"

"Not that I can recall, no."

Peter Lizon is charged with one count of malicious wounding

The majority of the testimony Friday involved the injuries Stephanie Lizon suffered from the frying pan and tractor incidents; not the allegations of her previous history of abuse by her husband.

She says the injuries from the frying pan incident were an accident, which happened during an argument between the two last month. The injuries from the farm tractor, she said, happened while Peter Lizon was repairing it.

"My husband was just trying to lower the attachment," she told Assistant Jackson County Prosecutor Katie Casto, "and he didn't realize I was so close, and dropped it on my feet."

She said she went to the Family Crisis Intervention Center while the couple and their one-year old child were in Parkersburg. When asked why, she said she was having an argument with Peter Lizon, and didn't want to do so in front of the child. Peter Lizon's attorney argued that, based on her denials, the case should be dismissed.

"We haven't established that there was intent to maliciously wound, injure, maim, disfigure," Bayless told the court. "In fact, just the opposite happened."

"She said she characterizes it as an accident, but again, I think common sense is going to tell you it was not an accident," Casto replied. "She said (Friday) it was caused by her husband."

Magistrate Jackie Casto bound over the case to Jackson County Circuit Court. Stephanie Lizon has her own attorney, who told reporters she may have a statement about the case in a few days.
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The Jackson County Sheriff's Office isn't saying much about what happened to Stephanie Lizon.

What is known is revealed in a complaint the sheriff's office provided us.

What Peter Lizon is charged with-malicious wounding-stems from an incident last month, in which he is accused of running over her feet with heavy equipment and holding a hot frying pan to her back. But what the complaint says she told a fellow resident at the Family Crisis Intervention center in Parkersburg goes beyond that.

"There are accounts of numerous incidents, but I don't know if we have a specific account of anything right now," said Chief Deputy Tony Boggs. "It's based upon somebody who Mrs. Lizon had spoken to."

The couple lived in a rural area of Jackson County. during the past ten years, she says he kept her chained with metal padlocks and chains, often calling her his "slave".

The resident said Stephanie suffered a miscarriage during a previous pregnancy, the result of her husband striking her in the stomach. The couple, she said, has a one-year old child, delivered by Peter Lizon while she was bound with chains.

The complaint says Stephanie lizon was treated for her latest injuries on June 20th.

Peter Lizon has a court appearance scheduled for Friday.


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Matt Location: Ripley on Jul 18, 2012 at 08:09 AM
    He needs a jail cell and she needs a padded room. Also, @ DV Worker, I would really like to find out who you are and where you are employed to show you what domestic violence looks like. Calling people ignorant, really. You must be one of those pencil pushers who doesnt even study the case and just take the womans word for it. You were probably a fan of judge Fantasia as well, since she liked to bend the men over and put it to them for trying to get custody of their kids. Neither one of them deserve that child. I would pay to have 5 minutes with Peter Lizon to make him endure what his wife has. I may be taking up for her on the abuse, but she needs to get her head out of her --- and tell what happened instead of worrying about what may come of it from him.
  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012 at 05:24 AM
    a few years ago, a woman accused her boyfirend of raping her. after he spent almost 2 years in jail. she admitted - she lied. as it has been said here - when a person says a person done something (and they did not do the crime) that person needs to have something done with them. the accused reputation is almosr ruined - because of this
  • by Anonymous on Jul 17, 2012 at 05:20 AM
    just because someone is accused, does not mean they are gulity. people do tell lies, because they like the attention. most of there people are blinded into believing because a person is arrested - they done the crime. these haters are living a blinded life.
  • by Martin on Jul 17, 2012 at 02:35 AM
    Stop wasting taxpayers money, sound like a match made.. to me.
  • by WOW on Jul 16, 2012 at 12:55 PM
    Whether this story is true or not, it is only a small percentage of DV cases. Im tired of all these comments saying this common, batteried woman syndrome, ect. She has a brain and a choose like every man and woman in these situations. Men are becoming victims of DV discrimination. A call is made of domestic is made a woman just has to say it happened no evidence the mans arrested. If a man makes the claim he is confronted with how did she hurt you or are you seroius. Im tired of this stereo type for men. Please remember that DV has to have a level of control and most DV calls dont meet the DV control wheel. This story if true is DV and meets the control Wheel, but it is only about 1% of the cases. Most are situations are just arguements that get out of hand by both parties. Comment all you want after I post this, but what Im saying is true.
  • by anony,ous 2 Location: parkersburg on Jul 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM
    reely sad that any women can go there..to family crises center n say anything n they get help..my wife abused my son an i mentaly an physicaly for months..an during this time was saying things like ..i was torturing her an harrasing her.it got so bad i got a d.v order against her for my son an i..when we whent to court the family crises center helped her!!!when my son an i were the pattitioners.i think theres discrimination goin on there...exactly how many men do they help? if any..i also belive they coach some of these women up...to help them..when they reely need to here both sides..they even got my wife a free lawyer..when she makes over 30000$ a year.an im on fixed income...thanks family crises center...u nvr held the victome..just the women
    • reply
      by tired of it on Jul 16, 2012 at 01:46 PM in reply to anony,ous 2
      obviously..its all about the woman with them..ive ben threw family court. an if ur a man the decks stackd against ya. exactly how many men are in the family crises center shelter?..i would wager none. because any female can walk in there say anything an bam..they get all the help an so called support to ruin a poor guy whos done nothing..come on y now does she seek help? somethn dont smell right!
  • by Wondering Location: ohio on Jul 16, 2012 at 07:24 AM
    If she gave birth to a child in her home while being bound with chains(as is claimed in the video)..I was just wondering if there is a birth record for her child at any of the hospitals? It all sounds just horrific if found to be true. None of that seems to be mentioned yet.
  • by Linda Location: city on Jul 15, 2012 at 09:42 PM
    She was offered a ticket to her mother's in another state, and refused because she couldn't take her son. Really? A large amount of comments here and in the paper, don't mention the little boy. IF she is lying--and I don't know if she is or not--she will end up going back home and taking an innocent little boy with her. She needs to suck it up, and do what is right for that child of hers!!
  • by Speaking from experience. on Jul 15, 2012 at 04:59 PM
    This woman is afraid to tell the truth for fear of retaliation from her husband. She feels no matter where she is she will not be safe. You do not open up to people at a crisis center and say what she said then turn around and recant those exact statements. I was always protecting my "EX" for that very same fear that the next time would be worse if I didn't lie and cover it up. I pray this young lady realizes that there will be ways to protect herself and any young children she may have before it's too late. And to anonymous asking where is proof....the proof is in her words that she herself told someone. Quit defending that low life abuser.
    • reply
      by DV Worker on Jul 16, 2012 at 04:20 AM in reply to Speaking from experience.
      You are absolutely right! I agree 100%
      • reply
        by WHAT! on Jul 16, 2012 at 02:03 PM in reply to DV Worker
        sounds like dv worker is one sided an thinks every man is guilty!!!
    • reply
      by Heidi Hoe on Jul 16, 2012 at 08:02 AM in reply to Speaking from experience.
      I agree. Quit defending the accused. He's obviously guilty, having been accused.
      • reply
        by WOW on Jul 16, 2012 at 01:00 PM in reply to Heidi Hoe
        HES OBVIOUSLY GUILTY, HAVING BEEN ACCUSED??????????? Im not saying that if her story is true that he is not guilty, but we still live in a society where you are innocent until proven guilty. with your mentality everyone that was killed during the witch trials was guilty.
      • reply
        by reely on Jul 16, 2012 at 01:54 PM in reply to Heidi Hoe
        wow thats unbelivable..i thought u were innocent till proven guilty? so ur saying anyone can go there accuse anybody an its all true?..hmmm maybe in the crises centers eyes..but decent people with half a brain know better
      • reply
        by Anonymous on Jul 16, 2012 at 02:41 PM in reply to Heidi Hoe
        gawwd - just because someone is accused does not mean they are guilty,,,that is what courts are for. many people accused - are found innocent.
    • reply
      by Beth on Jul 16, 2012 at 09:19 AM in reply to Speaking from experience.
      Amen! Obviously this woman felt safe talking to whoever it was. Now I'm sure her and her husband have spoken and After everything else, I'm sure he made it clear that she better change her story! People think you can just up and leave! It's more complex than that.
    • reply
      by reely on Jul 16, 2012 at 01:52 PM in reply to Speaking from experience.
      not always true..ignorint to think it is
      • reply
        by too reely on Jul 20, 2012 at 10:04 AM in reply to reely
        i think it's really!
  • by Patriot Location: Ohio on Jul 15, 2012 at 01:58 PM
    She needs Help...mental help and the state needs to pursue the case..you don't go to a crisis center unless its a last resort...To much iffy...If he kills her its on the states hands.
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