POMEROY — The Supreme Court of Ohio has denied and dismissed the original appeal filed by Paula Rizer.
Rizer was appealing the conviction stemming from the April 2009 shooting death of her husband, Kenneth Rizer, Sr.
An entry filed March 7 and signed by Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor, states that “upon consideration of the jurisdictional memoranda filed in this case, the court denies leave to appeal and dismisses the appeal as not involving any substantial constitutional question.”
The Notice of Appeal filed by Attorney Craig M. Jaquith on December 12, 2011, stated that “this case raises a substantial constitutional question, involves a felony, and is of public or great general interest.”
Rizer appealed her conviction on the basis that a state forensic expert’s testimony violated her right against self-incrimination, and four other assignments of error, including claims the court erred when it prohibited the defense from calling Rizer ‘s granddaughter as a witness, erred in its jury instructions on the law of self defense in Battered Woman Syndrome cases, argued that her defense counsel was deficient, and stated that the court erred in ordering $10,000 restitution for funeral costs and $17,580 for the costs of her confinement in the Washington County Jail while she awaited trial.
The state’s response to the defense’s filing stated, “It is not clear from Rizer’s Memorandum in Support why she claims this case is of great general interest or involves a substantial constitutional question. At best, Rizer claims that her Fifth Amendment rights were violated and her counsel could not possibly know to object to what appeared to be a self-incrimination violation. Her claims of a Fifth Amendment violation, not being permitted to call a child witness and faulty jury instructions are all standard appellate issue, which were raised on appeal, and do not present any true new propositions of law or any question that would be overwhelmingly of public interest.”
The Fourth District Court of Appeals had previously overturned only the financial part of the case. The appeals court vacated Judge Fred Crow’s $10,000 restitution order and instructed him to impose an order of $9,200.
In addition to the first appeal which has now been dismissed, Rizer has filed a Petition for Post Conviction Relief, alleging that the conviction is void or voidable because she was denied the effective assistance of counsel.
Through affidavits, Rizer’s former attorneys Herman Carson and Glenn Jones — who represented Rizer during her murder trail — assert that they were ineffective in failing to object to “faulty self-defense instructions” and failing to object to testimony of Dr. Stinson regarding statements made to him by the defendant.
Judge Dale Crawford issued a decision on the filing in January, stating, “The Court has reviewed the record and has determined that ‘the files and records of the case [do not] show the petitioner is not entitled to relief’. The court will review the issue regarding the effectiveness of counsel argument.” A hearing on the merits of the motion has been set for 1 p.m. on April 18. According to court record, Rizer is to be present for the hearing.
Rizer is serving a sentence of 18 years to life and is incarcerated in the Ohio Reformatory for Women in Marysville.