Man sentenced after pleading guilty in Middletown woman’s murder

A man charged in connection with the shooting death of a woman found dead in February at a Monroe house was sentenced Wednesday.

Jordan James Lay, 23, of Mason, pleaded guilty in Butler County Common Pleas Court on a charge of murder with a specification that a gun was used in the crime. He was sentenced by Judge Greg Howard to life in prison with the possibility of parole after 16 years.

Fifteen years of that sentence is for the murder charge, and the additional year was for the gun specification.

Lay and Nicholas Alan Mattox, 23, of Trenton, were arrested Feb. 5, a day after 32-year-old Amy Risner of Middletown was found dead at a house on Anne Road.

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Six other charges against Lay, including two counts of felonious assault (second degree felonies) and three counts of tampering with evidence (third degree felonies), were dismissed.

If released, Lay faces lifetime parole, court documents show. He has been credited for 168 days already served.

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

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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.

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.

Mattox, who faces two charges of tampering with evidence, is scheduled to be back in court Aug. 5 for a pre-trial hearing.