In March, Tiffany Lazon alleged that her husband, Craig Lazon, 38, had held her hostage in their Albany home for a week, abused her and threatened to kill her. She supposedly had escaped and ran to a neighbor’s home to make her allegations.
She was covered with bruises.
But her story was fabricated and unraveled over time during the course of investigations by the Albany Police Department, the Veterans Administration, the Department of Defense and a private forensic specialist.
Defense attorney Arnold Poole told Judge Thomas McHill that Craig Lazon has been lodged in the Linn County Jail for nine months due to his wife’s deceit. She contends her issues are linked to post-traumatic stress disorder.
Craig Lazon, a West Albany High graduate, was originally charged with attempted aggravated murder, first-degree kidnapping, first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy, first-degree unlawful sexual penetration, two counts of second-degree assault, strangulation and fourth-degree assault.
But on Tuesday, in a plea arrangement with the Linn County District Attorney’s Office, represented by Jonathon Crow, Craig Lazon was sentenced to 36 months in prison on a single charge of tampering with a witness. It is an upward sentence — the presumptive sentence for the crime is 15 to 18 months — based in part on previous court issues involving violence toward women.
Poole had asked for a nine-month sentence, taking Lazon’s time in the county jail in consideration.
The lone charge stemmed from Lazon working in collusion with another jail inmate to call his wife and suggest she not show up for his trial.
After Tiffany Lazon made her allegations, Craig Lazon fled the area and was found in Springfield with his mistress.
Poole said Lazon has had issues with methamphetamine addiction.
Tiffany Lazon pleaded with Judge McHill to spare her husband prison time.
“I have bad PTSD,” she said. “I do love him and I miss him. We all miss him. We want him home for the holidays. I have been suffering and just want him to come home.”
Tiffany Lazon added that she has had a hard time transitioning to civilian life.
While attorney Poole was grateful that Lazon has been cooperative and “showed a lot of courage” by coming to the hearing, he poked numerous holes in her original story.
He also thanked the District Attorney’s office for doing the right thing by throwing out the original charges.
Poole said Tiffany Lazon asserted she had been tied up for a week. But there were no ligature marks on her wrists or ankles.
She alleged that Craig Lazon would not allow her to talk with her father on the phone, but records indicate a 20-minute call had been made between the two.
When police went to the family home and broke down the door, fearing Lazon’s 13-year-old daughter was in danger, they found her napping and said nothing nefarious had occurred there.
A computer flash drive contained photos and video of several incidents in which Tiffany Lazon had hurt herself, hitting herself with a screwdriver, hammer and even whipping herself with the buckle end of a leather belt.
In all of the videos, Craig Lazon was shown trying to stop her. In fact, Poole said, the videos show that Tiffany Lazon had hit her husband several times and he never acted back in anger.
Poole said that although Tiffany Lazon contended her husband hit her, she had no defensive wounds and there were no wounds on her buttocks, back or legs.
“Our forensic specialist said her marks were symmetrical,” Poole said. He said that in cases of violent attacks, that does not happen.
Further investigation found that Tiffany Lazon had previously tried to commit suicide and that her first husband had sought a restraining order against her because she had threatened to kill him.
Although she alleges that she saw battle action while in the military, records indicate otherwise. And according to her VA medical records, she once tried to say that a bug bite was actually a gunshot wound.
The Veterans Administration has found that Lazon has borderline personality disorder.
“Clearly this is a story of some damaged people,” Judge McHill said.
After sentencing Lazon, he added, “It’s a sorry day for everybody.”
Crow issued a statement after the sentencing, allowing that revelations concerning Mrs. Lazon required the dismissal.
“That evidence undermined the strength of the case against the defendant as to the crimes first reported,” Crow noted.
Contact Linn County reporter Alex Paul at 541-812-6114.
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