Mistrial declared in domestic violence case

LISBON — A jury trial for Ronald L. Briggs, an East Liverpool man accused of seriously injuring his live-in girlfriend by beating her last summer, was declared a mistrial Wednesday in Columbiana County Common Pleas Court.

Briggs, 53, is charged with two counts of domestic violence and one charge of felonious assault. He already had four previous convictions for domestic violence prior to allegedly harming Alexis Mitchell on June 22 and July 6. Court records claim Briggs punched, kicked, jumped on her hands, stomped on her and other actions, which resulted in her hospitalization following both occurrences this summer.

Testimony began following jury selection Wednesday morning with police telling jurors about what happened when they responded to the East Liverpool area home and sharing photographs of the injuries to Mitchell.

However, when the case was to begin again after lunch, a mistrial was declared.

Judge C. Ashley Pike explained to the jury that Briggs’ defense attorney, Charley Kidder, learned during the lunch break that the victim in the case, Mitchell, was actually his client in a child custody matter ongoing in Columbiana County Juvenile Court. That would have meant Kidder would have had to cross examine his own client in that case on behalf of Briggs.

Pike dismissed the jury and the case is expected to be retried, with Briggs having other counsel defending him. A status conference is scheduled in the case for Friday.