- Chile's Codelco in 'fragile' situation as it makes loss
- AP Explains: The trial to remove Brazil's president
- Jose mourinho says it will be 'difficult' for bastian schweinsteiger to play
- I'm not wealthy claims Jeremy Corbyn, despite earning £138,000 a-year, owning a £600,000 home and £1.6million pension
- Facelifts, hair transplants and A LOT of Botox: How X Factor judges including Sharon Osbourne and Louis Walsh STILL look as young as they did when they were last on TV together
- Judge gets own back on thug who had boasted on Facebook about avoiding prison
- Brexit boost as latest figures show EU vote has no impact on economic growth
- Cousin of teenage terror twins who joined ISIS is jailed for seven years
- Toronto man charged in crossbow murders that left 3 dead
- Sad downfall of a TV star: Shocking pictures show Jackass' Bam Margera urinating in the street and getting carted off by the police during European holiday with his wife
More from Maryland
- Baltimore's newly revealed surveillance program raises legal questions
- Baltimore police confirms aerial surveillance of city residents
- Activists call for Facebook 'censorship' change after Korryn Gaines death
- Baltimore officers cited for mistreatment of women in DoJ report
- Justice department says Baltimore police 'violate constitution' – video
MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) - While her husband returned a rototiller to a West Virginia rental shop, a limping woman sneaked into another part of the building seeking help. Soon, she was at a shelter with a horrifying tale: She had been held hostage for the better part of a decade - beaten, burned and even shackled during childbirth.
Investigators have 45 photographs showing burns on her back and breasts from irons and frying pans, and scars on her wrists and ankles. Now her husband is in jail and authorities are investigating what Jackson County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Tony Boggs called one of the most terrible cases he's seen.
"This appears to go beyond abuse to what I would consider torture," he said Wednesday.
Peter Lizon, 37, was in jail on $300,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing Friday on a malicious wounding charge.
The criminal complaint says 43-year-old Stephanie Lizon told another woman at a Parkersburg shelter that her husband smashed her foot with a piece of farm equipment, among other things.
But Shawn Bayliss, Peter Lizon's attorney, said the allegations are "the fabrication of a fertile imagination or a feeble mind, one of the two."
"The alleged victim didn't make these accusations. It was a third party," Bayliss said. " ... Stephanie would say this story is absolutely untrue, and the charges levied against her husband are blatantly false."
He compared it to the childhood game of "telephone," where something whispered from one person to another ultimately bears no resemblance to reality.
"This is a situation where a person has taken a nugget of information, taken an acorn and tried to turn it into a tree," he said. "And the tree won't support this story."
The details of the alleged abuse came out after the wife fled July 2. Stephanie Lizon entered another part of the building while her husband was inside Bosley Rental & Supply in Parkersburg and told the staff, "I'm trying to get away from my husband. I just need to hide for a few minutes," one employee said.
The employee declined to give her name, citing concern for her safety and that of her co-workers.
In an office, the wife "seemed pretty calm but kept looking out the window to see if he was looking for her," the employee said.
Stephanie Lizon told the staff she didn't want to involve police, but she accepted the number for the domestic violence shelter and called it. She also called family to ask for money, and the employees gave her cash and called a cab to take her to a Western Union office and the shelter.
The woman was limping and had appeared to have some sort of injury, the employee said. And while her clothing was clean, she smelled bad. The husband did not come inside looking for his wife and police didn't come until several days later.
At the shelter, however, Stephanie Lizon told another woman about the abuse she had suffered at the hands of her husband, a native of the Czech Republic. The wife said her family was from Alexandria, Va.
Stephanie Lizon's father declined to discuss the case when contacted by The Associated Press. Relatives of her husband didn't immediately return messages.
The witness at the shelter described Stephanie Lizon as "gaunt and filthy," and covered in scars, bruises and burns. She had "mutilated and swollen" feet, a scar in the shape of a clothes iron on one breast, and burns on her back that the victim said came from a hot frying pan.
The witness said the wife was called a "slave" and ordered to kneel before her husband every time she entered a room. The wife also said she had delivered a fully developed, stillborn child while in shackles, and her husband buried the corpse on their farm.
Another child survived a similar delivery, but Stephanie Lizon said it had never received medical attention.
Boggs said state child-welfare authorities have been notified, but Peter Lizon's attorney said the child - a 1-year-old boy - remains with his mother.