Trial date set for Rist case

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Feb. 26 trial date has been set for a former Ironton police officer accused of tampering with evidence.

The trial date for Beth Rist, of Ironton, was scheduled Tuesday during a pretrial conference before visiting judge Fred Crow, of Meigs County.

“It went well,” Rist’s attorney, Warren Morford, said. “We didn’t get an offer of a plea bargain.”

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He said he plans to argue that what Rist did is not a crime and therefore she should not be prosecuted for it.

“It doesn’t fall within the definition of tampering with evidence,” Morford said. He declined to elaborate.

Lawrence County Prosecutor J.B. Collier Jr., was not immediately available for comment.

The trial is scheduled to last two days. A final pretrial conference is set for Jan. 29.

Rist was accused of writing a fake ticket. She was fired in October by Mayor Rich Blankenship after an internal and external investigation. The internal investigation, conducted by city officials, determined she violated departmental and city policy.

The results of the external investigation, conducted by the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification, were turned over to the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office and were used as the basis for the indictment.