Ella Maria “Ria” Mercado ~ Class of 1969

Ria Mercado – Fisher ~ Class of 1969

Departed ~ 7/17/84 ~ Murdered by her husband



Detroit Free Press (MI)

Author: JOE SWICKARD Free Press Staff WriterEdition: METRO FINAL
Section: NWS
Page: 7D

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 attorney 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 taking valuables.

**** Copyright (c) 1985 Detroit Free Press
Record Number: 8501100699

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