|Detroit Free Press
Detroit Free Press (MI)
March 13, 1985 MAN TO FACE TRIAL IN DEATH OF HIS WIFE
Author: JOE SWICKARD Free Press Staff WriterEdition: METRO
College professor Charles Fisher was ordered Tuesday to stand
trial on a first-degree murder charge. He is accused of killing
his wife in a staged burglary of their Canton Township home in July.
Plymouth District Judge James Garber, at the end of a five- day
preliminary examination, ruled that Assistant Prosecutor Timothy
Kenny had presented enough circumstantial evidence to warrant a
trial. But, in an unusual move, Garber granted Fisher a $250,000
bond, requiring a $25,000 cash deposit.
Kenny objected to the bond, saying that Fisher could flee to
the Caribbean island of St. Kitts. Fisher, a former head of microbiology
at the Ann Arbor Veterans Administration Hospital, was teaching
at a medical school on the island when he was arrested. Fisher,
44, is accused of murdering his wife, Ella Marie, and trying to
disguise it as a slaying by burglars. Mrs. Fisher, 31, died five
days after she was found -- her face and mouth sealed with duct
tape and her legs and hands bound with ropes -- facedown and covered
with a blanket in their living room. Kenny charged that Fisher killed
his wife, fearing she was about to resume a romance with her cousin.
Defense attorny Daniel Burress said no evidence linked Fisher
to the killing. If convicted, Fisher faces a mandatory sentence
of life in prison without parole. Fisher told police he was awakened
by a noise shortly after midnight July 15. He said he was confronted
in the dark kitchen by intruders, one of whom demanded money and
keys to his pickup truck. Fisher told police he was struck down
from behind before he could respond, and awoke about two hours later
bound and gagged in his bedroom. He said he freed himself and found
his wife unconscious in the living room. He said he tried mouth-to-mouth
resuscitation before calling police.
But Kenny said Fisher's account of burglars did not stand up.
"The B&E men were thoughtful enough to go and put him back
on his bed," Kenny said. When the rescue squad arrived, Kenny
said, the house was still dark and Mrs. Fisher was facedown. Kenny
said the reported intruders went to the trouble of immobilizing
two people and getting access to a pickup truck, then fled without
**** Copyright (c) 1985 Detroit Free Press
Record Number: 8501100699