Veteran legal protection lawyer appointed to characterize Norristown man dealing with retrial in 1980 murder

Veteran legal protection lawyer appointed to characterize Norristown man dealing with retrial in 1980 murder

NORRISTOWN — A veteran legal protection lawyer was appointed by a choose to characterize Robert Fisher, the Norristown man dealing with a retrial on costs he fatally shot his ex-girlfriend in 1980, within the occasion Fisher doesn’t acquire his personal lawyer.

Thomas C. Egan III, well-known in Montgomery County authorized circles, was appointed by Choose Todd Eisenberg to characterize Fisher, in response to a courtroom order.

Earlier this week, Fisher, who was set to characterize himself at his retrial, sought a delay as jury choice was about to start, saying he had a change of coronary heart and wished a lawyer to characterize him.

Fisher, 75, who simply three weeks in the past instructed the choose he wished to characterize himself after having disagreements with two earlier court-appointed legal professionals, claimed on Tuesday that he had been in touch with “a number of individuals within the authorized group” who may be enthusiastic about representing him if they’re compensated, including he wanted a couple of weeks to finalize that illustration.

Listening to no objection from prosecutors, Eisenberg granted the trial postponement however added he was going to nominate a lawyer to characterize Fisher within the interim in case Fisher is unable to rent his personal lawyer. Eisenberg is predicted to carry a listening to later this month to set a brand new date for Fisher’s retrial.

Final September, Eisenberg declared a mistrial after a jury indicated it was “hopelessly deadlocked” and couldn’t attain a verdict at Fisher’s retrial in reference to the alleged July 10, 1980, deadly taking pictures of 26-year-old Collegeville native Linda Rowden, who was Fisher’s ex-girlfriend on the time, as she drove her automobile alongside DeKalb Road close to Basin Road.

It was the third evidentiary trial for Fisher after his earlier first-degree homicide convictions, at trials in September 1988 and August 1991, have been overturned by appellate courts.

Fisher is also the one individual in Pennsylvania sentenced to dying 3 times and every of these sentences additionally was overturned by increased courts.

First Assistant District Legal professional Edward F. McCann Jr. and co-prosecutor Tanner Beck are dealing with the case.

Fisher, previously of the 600 block of DeKalb Road, is charged with first- and third-degree homicide in reference to Rowden’s dying.

Through the retrial, prosecutors should not searching for a dying sentence, however life imprisonment if Fisher is convicted of first-degree homicide, which is an intentional killing.

McCann and Beck have argued Fisher acted with intent when he fatally shot Rowden with a handgun that when belonged to Rowden’s father.

Accused killer Robert Fisher is escorted by sheriff's deputies from a Montgomery County courtroom after seeking a delay in his retrial for 1980 slaying of Collegeville woman. (Photo by Carl Hessler Jr.)
Accused killer Robert Fisher is escorted by sheriff’s deputies from a Montgomery County courtroom after searching for a delay in his retrial for 1980 slaying of Collegeville lady. (Picture by Carl Hessler Jr.)

Prosecutors argued an offended Fisher killed Rowden to forestall her from giving info to police that might hyperlink Fisher to the 1980 homicide of Nigel Anderson, a witness who had been scheduled to testify in a federal heroin case. Moreover, two days earlier than she was murdered, Rowden reported to Norristown police that Fisher assaulted her.

Fisher instantly fled from Norristown to New York Metropolis after the killing, modified his title and took on a brand new id, in response to testimony. Fisher wasn’t apprehended till 1987 in New York.

Fisher was first convicted of Rowden’s homicide in September 1988 and was sentenced to dying. To win that conviction, prosecutors relied on Fisher’s earlier conviction in federal courtroom of violating Nigel Anderson’s civil rights.

In 1990, the state Supreme Court docket overturned the county homicide conviction after a federal choose overturned Fisher’s federal civil rights conviction.

Fisher was then retried for Rowden’s homicide in August 1991, convicted and sentenced to dying a second time.

Nonetheless, in June 1996, the state Supreme Court docket, whereas upholding the homicide conviction, dominated Fisher ought to obtain a brand new penalty listening to as a result of jurors at his 1991 trial have been improperly allowed to listen to sufferer impression testimony from Rowden’s mom.

After a brand new penalty listening to in June 1997, Fisher was sentenced to dying a 3rd time.

However in late 2019, U.S. District Court docket Choose Gene E.Okay. Pratter overturned Fisher’s conviction, ruling a county choose’s instruction on “cheap doubt” and an instance of the idea the choose recited through the 1991 trial was “constitutionally poor” and “fatally flawed” and that Fisher’s lawyer ought to have objected to the instruction. Pratter concluded Fisher’s constitutional rights have been violated by the instruction.

The U.S. Court docket of Appeals for the Third Circuit upheld Pratter’s determination on Jan. 17, 2020, sending Fisher’s case again to county courtroom for the retrial.

Fisher’s 1997 dying sentence additionally was overturned with Pratter ruling the annoying issue relied on by prosecutors on the time was improperly utilized.