An initial pre-trial hearing was held in the case Monday in Meigs County Common Pleas Court.
Rizer had retained Pomeroy Attorney Christopher Tenoglia just after she was charged with her husband’s murder. Tenoglia has continued to represent Rizer, but has not been appointed counsel in the case.
However, at Monday’s hearing, after a telephone call to the Ohio Public Defender’s district office in Athens, Tenoglia was permitted to withdraw as Rizer’s counsel in favor of representation by the OPD’s office. The county retains a contract with the state agency to provide representation of indigent defendants. Death penalty murder cases are exempt from the contract, but cases without a death penalty are included.
Rizer also agreed to waiver her right to a speedy trial until June 1, so Attorney Herman Carson can take over her defense when he joins the public defender’s office in May. Under state law, the state has 90 days from the date of Rizer’s arrest to bring her case to trial.
A final pre-trial hearing in the case has been set for May 11. Rizer’s trial was originally set for May 19, but Tenoglia said the trial will now likely take place sometime in July or August.
Rizer is accused of murdering her husband, Kenny Rizer, Sr., by multiple gunshot wounds to the chest. Rizer was pronounced dead at the scene, the couple’s home on Lovett Road in Portland.
No facts surrounding the case, such as motive or circumstances leading up to the shooting, have been made public. Prosecuting Attorney Colleen S. Williams represented the state at yesterday’s hearing.