EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSALLEGED TORTURE
from Eyewitness News Online
Husband Speaks Out After Arrest For Allegedly Holding Wife Captive
Reported by: Kallie Cart
Videographer: John Tincher
Web Producer: Kallie Cart
Also Contributing: Katy Brown
Reported: Jul. 11, 2012 8:01 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 11, 2012 8:26 PM EDT
Ripley , Jackson County , West Virginia
A disturbing story of a woman allegedly being severely beaten, burned and chained up inside her own home outside of Ripley in Jackson County over the course of 10 years by her husband but he is now telling a much different story than police.
"She has been bound and tortured for the majority of her time with him, it appears," Lt. Tony Boggs with the Jackson County Sheriff's Office says.
Peter Lizon, has been arrested and charged with malicious wounding for the alleged injuries to his wife, but his attorney says the whole thing has been blown out of proportion.
"Someone with a fertile imagination has created this story that is full of sensationalism and bizarre accusations," Peter's attorney Shawn Bayliss says.
Last month, while Peter and his wife, Stephanie, were returning some farm equipment in Parkersburg, she ran inside the building and told employees she was trying to get away from her husband. Employees tell Eyewitness News she seemed scared and that Peter looked around for his wife for a short period of time and then left with their 1-year-old child. The employees then got Stephanie a cab to a nearby domestic violence shelter.
One of Stephanie's roommates at the shelter called police telling them what she says Stephanie told her, about being her husband's slave and being shackled and allegedly detailing injuries to Stephanie's body which the roommate described to police as sickening. Police also say the shelter took pictures of burn marks to Stephanie's back and chest, they say her chest appeared to have been burned by a hot iron, and that there were lesions to her wrists and ankles. Based on that information, police arrested Peter.
"The story that's been told so far wasn't told by the wife, it's told by someone else who has taken a kernel of something and has grown it into this big tree that is not at all what it seems to be," Bayliss says.
When Peter was arrested, Stephanie was back home with him. In cases of domestic violence, experts say victims will often return before leaving for good. But Peter's attorney says he has spoken to Stephanie and that she went back because she wasn't scared, he also says the alleged marks on her body can be explained but wouldn't specifically say how.
"My client and his wife are both deeply saddened that this matter has taken this turn, its not anything of this sort that it may seem to people," Bayliss says. He says the real facts will eventually surface.
But police say it is a clear cut case of domestic violence, the worst they have ever seen.
Eyewitness News has also learned some new information about the couple. Peter and Stephanie are described as "anti-government" and in 2004 they were both arrested in Maryland after being accused of cutting up Bush-Cheney campaign signs with a bayonet. Ironically, Stephanie's Dad, Thomas Hofeller, is a prominent figure in Washington and does work for the Republican party. Her mother, Kathleen, is the author of numerous books on battered women and helped open a domestic violence shelter in California. Eyewitness News spoke with Stephanie's father on the phone, he says his attorneys have advised him not to speak about his daughter's situation.
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