Jackson County prosecutor steps away from Lizon case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Jackson County Prosecuting Attorney Kennad Skeen recused himself Thursday from a case against a man accused of torturing his wife for more than a decade, according to the man's defense lawyer.Skeen has a conflict of interest because he represented the man and the man's family in several unrelated cases.A special prosecutor would have to be appointed to present the state's case against Peter Lizon, who was indicted on a malicious-wounding charge June 27. The state Prosecuting Attorneys Institute would appoint a special prosecutor early next week.Skeen presented the case to a Jackson County grand jury last month, accusing Lizon of severely beating and injuring his wife, Stephanie.On Thursday, though, Skeen told Jackson Circuit Judge Thomas Evans that he no longer could prosecute the case, according to Mike Hissam, Peter Lizon's attorney.The prosecutor said he remembered representing Peter Lizon on an obstruction charge in 2007 and representing Stephanie Lizon on a misdemeanor charge in 2008, and he also represented Stephanie Lizon's parents in a land title dispute several years ago, according to Hissam.
Evans granted the prosecutor's request, Hissam said.Skeen did not return a phone call Thursday.Hissam said Lizon would appear in court July 29 to have a trial date set. He is on house arrest as a condition of his release from jail on bail.Peter Lizon has denied all of the allegations against him. Stephanie Lizon also denied the allegations and testified on her husband's behalf during an arraignment hearing last year.Police said the allegations arose after Stephanie Lizon spent time at a women's shelter in Parkersburg and allegedly told a woman there that her husband abused her. Police said they have photographs of her injuries, which Stephanie Lizon attributed to common injuries from working on the farm in Leroy.Reach Travis Crum at travis.crum@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5163.
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