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Jackson County man seeks dismissal of torture case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- An attorney representing Peter Lizon filed a motion Thursday to dismiss charges against his client because he said a prosecutor failed to recuse himself from a conflict of interest.

Charleston attorney Michael Hissam said Jackson County Prosecutor Kennad Skeen should have recused himself before presenting a case against Lizon to a grand jury in June. Skeen had previously represented Lizon and his wife, Stephanie, in unrelated matters in 2011. Skeen recused himself from the case last month and it was reassigned to Mason County Prosecutor Craig Tatterson.

Lizon, 39, was indicted by a Jackson County grand jury on three counts of malicious wounding and three counts of domestic battery on June 25. Police accused Peter Lizon of chaining his wife and abusing her for more than a decade at their farm in Leroy. Stephanie Lizon denied the allegations and testified on her husband's behalf during an arraignment hearing last year.

Hissam also filed a motion Thursday to dismiss three domestic battery charges against Peter Lizon because a one-year statute of limitations had expired, he said. The domestic battery incidents were alleged to have occurred between March 2012 and June 2012, a full year before Peter Lizon was indicted.

Hissam also filed a motion to disclose transcripts from an October 2012 grand jury session, in which someone leaked erroneous information to WSAZ-TV. The news station reported that Lizon had been indicted, but later retracted the story, he said.

Lizon will return to court today to ask Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Thomas Evans for permission to have contact with Stephanie Lizon, who is 9 months pregnant. Peter Lizon is not allowed to have contact with Stephanie as a condition of his release on bond.

Evans previously set an Oct. 15 trial date for Lizon.

Reach Travis Crum at or 304-348-5163.


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