At a pre-trial hearing in Rizer’s murder case Friday, she asked that the testing not be performed, so that her trial can proceed later this month as scheduled. Testing of the weapon was expected to take six to eight weeks.
Prosecuting Attorney Colleen Williams said Rizer’s attorney, Herman Carson of Athens, had asked early in the case’s proceedings that the gun be tested for DNA evidence, and she was willing to proceed with the testing if Rizer requested it.
Judge Fred W. Crow III heard a number of pre-trial motions Friday as plans proceed for an Oct. 27 jury trial. Rizer is accused of shooting her husband five times and killing him at their Lebanon Township home.
In Crow’s court on Friday, Carson refuted statements Williams has made in court documents relating to Rizer’s account of the events leading to her husband’s death. While Williams said in a motion filed last week Rizer had consistently told investigators the shooting was an accident, Carson said Friday she has never maintained the shooting was an accident.
Instead, Rizer’s defense attorneys hope to prove there was a struggle leading up to her husband’s death. They hope to use as a part of their case the clothing the man was wearing when he was shot.
Although considered an important part of the defense’s case, that clothing was just located last week. Carson said he had been told repeatedly that the clothing was in the custody of the county sheriff, but that it was finally located at the Montgomery County Coroner’s Office in Dayton, where Kenny Rizer, Sr.’s autopsy was performed. Carson took custody of the clothing a week ago.
Williams said Friday she was not aware of any concerns with the whereabouts of the clothing until Oct. 14, and said she made arrangements to locate the clothing and provide it to Carson as soon as was possible.
Both sides reached an agreement on the protocol to be used in testing the clothing for evidence to be used in prosecuting the case, after Carson and Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Matthew Donohue reviewed the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation’s protocol for such testing.
Carson had asked that all testing on the clothing be delayed until the state and defense could reach an agreement on testing protocol. His was filed in response to the state’s plans to conduct a Greiss test on the clothing to detect the presence of organic nitrite compounds.