Bond reduced for one of two men charged in Middletown woman’s homicide

Bond was drastically reduced for one man charged in connection with the shooting death of a woman found dead at a Monroe residence earlier this month.

Jordan James Lay, 22, of Mason, and Nicholas Alan Mattox, 23, of Trenton, were both initially charged with aggravated murder by Monroe police and booked into the Butler County Jail on Feb. 5, a day after 32-year-old Amy Risner of Middletown was found dead at an Anne Road residence.

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The case was presented to a Butler County grand jury and charges of murder with a specification that a gun was used in the crime, felonious assault and tampering with evidence were returned for Lay. Mattox was indicted on two counts of tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies.

Lay and Mattox were arraigned on the indicted charges on Wednesday in Butler County Common Pleas Court, where Judge Greg Howard entered not guilty pleas for both. The men both requested court-appointed attorneys.

At a video arraignment on Feb. 6, when both men were charged with aggravated murder, bond was set by a magistrate at $1 million each.

Howard continued the $1 million bond for Lay, but after noting the lesser charges against Mattox and the lack of significant past criminal record, the judge set his bond at $10,000, cash or surety.

If Mattox is released on bond, Howard ordered that he wear a GPS monitor and have no contact with Lay.

Vickie Risner, Amy’s aunt, attended the court hearings along with several other family members.

“She needs somebody here for her,” Risner said. “I will be.”

The men are scheduled to be back in court Feb. 26 for a pre-trial hearing.

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Court records filed in Butler County Area II court said Lay confessed to killing Risner, a mother of three sons.

Police were called shortly before 4 p.m. Feb. 4 on a report of an unresponsive person. Risner was pronounced dead at the scene, and her death was ruled a homicide by the Butler County Coroner’s Office. The cause of death is listed by the coroner’s office as “pending.”

In an application for a warrant to search the house, police said Risner suffered a gunshot wound to the head.

The house and Risner had been the subjects of a drug investigation by the Warren County Drug Task Force for months before the homicide, according to court documents.

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