Risner Follows Suit

Saturday, February 23, 2002
by Associated Press

(Rogersville-AP) -- One of six young Kentuckians serving life in prison for the roadside murders of a six-year-old and her parents wants a new trial.
Joseph Lance Risner (RYZ'-nur) testified during a hearing in Rogersville Thursday, saying he was medicated by a doctor and coerced by a lawyer into accepting a plea bargain.
The petition Risner has before Judge James Beckner is much like those filed earlier by his co-defendants Natasha Wallen Cornett and Karen Renee Howell. Beckner denied both.
Vidar (VEE'-dahr) and Delfina Lillelid (LIHL'-eh-lihd) and their six-year-old daughter Tabitha were taken hostage from an Interstate 81 rest area in Greene County, gunned down and left for dead in 1997.
Their two-year-old son, Peter Lillelid, was seriously wounded but survived and is now living with his father's sister in Sweden.
Police in Arizona captured the suspects two days after the shooting. They were in the victims' van.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)