Judge dismisses charges in Jackson County 'torture' case - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Judge dismisses charges in Jackson County 'torture' case

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Peter Lizon and his attorney waiting for trial to begin. Peter Lizon and his attorney waiting for trial to begin.
Peter and Stephanie Lizon reunited after a year-long trial process Peter and Stephanie Lizon reunited after a year-long trial process

UPDATE:

A judge has dismissed the case against a Jackson County man accused of torturing his wife for 10 years.

It was an emotional hearing for Peter Lizon, who has maintained his innocence from the very start.

Judge Thomas C. Evans ruled in favor of the state and defense, both of which filed motions to throw out the case against Lizon.

Special prosecutor Craig Tatterson said there was a conflict of interest with the original prosecutor who handled the case. In court documents, Tatterson also cited a lack of admissible evidence, something that would make a conviction even that much harder.

The torture allegations were made by a third-party witness, a woman Stephanie met at a Parkersburg shelter. Her credibility has been questioned throughout the course of the investigation. Stephanie said the woman made the stories up.

Judge Evans said the conflict of interest was enough to dismiss the case without prejudice. This means charges could be re-filed in the future, if the state decided to do so.

Lizon said the decision was a weight lifted off of his shoulders.

"It certainly we an interesting year for us and very hard, we pretty much lost everything we had and then some but we're ready to rebuilding and start our life over," he said.

Stephanie just gave birth to the couple's second child, Bozena, last week. She said she is relieved the charges against her husband have been dropped.

"We've been waiting for this for a very, very long time," she said.

Tatterson said there are no immediate plans to re-file the charges against Lizon.

Michael Hissam, Lizon's attorney, said the judge made the right decision.

"We think that recognizes this case for what we've said it is all along, which is a case based on hearsay and innuendo and suggestion and a case that needed to be dismissed," he said.

The Lizons plan to build a new house on their Leroy farm after their old house was set on fire earlier this year.

The couple is now trying to get custody of their two-year-old son. They lost custody after the torture charges made headlines last year. They have a custody hearing on Friday.

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ORIGINAL:

This morning, a judge will decide whether or not to throw out the case against Peter Lizon.

The move comes a little more than one year since his initial arrest.

Special prosecutor Craig Tatterson filed the motion to dismiss the charges on Friday

Tatterson said there's a lack of admissible evidence in the case. He also cites the original prosecutor's conflict of interest as a reason why the charges should be dropped.  Kenny Skeen recently recused himself from the case because he has represented the Lizons before as a private attorney.

(RELATED STORY: Deputies make third arrest in Jackson Co. 'torture' house fire)

Tatterson is concerned Skeen presented Lizon's case to a grand jury when he knew he had a conflict of interest in the case.

Lizon was recently indicted on malicious wounding and domestic battery charges.

Investigators said he abused his wife Stephanie for 10 years, something she has denied from the start.

The allegations actually came from a third party witness, a woman Stephanie met at a shelter in Parkersburg.

Her credibility has also come under fire over the course of the investigation.

The Lizons tell 13 News they just want their lives to go back to the way it used to be.

Stephanie gave birth to the couple's second child on Thursday.

The hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m.