A Glendive man accused of shooting his father to death in 2017 is headed to trial Monday, after a district judge declined to dismiss the case because a sheriff's deputy had the crime scene cleaned.
Todd Carlisle Fisher was arrested in October 2017 and charged with deliberate homicide for killing his elderly father, Wilbur, in their home outside Glendive.
Todd Fisher had reported his father’s death to law enforcement, telling authorities he had been away from the house for several days and returned to find his father dead. He claimed there had been a burglary, though investigators didn’t see signs of a break-in.
Todd and Wilbur Fisher had a rocky father-son relationship, according to court documents. Todd Fisher was the beneficiary of a $60,000 life insurance policy and Wilbur Fisher’s will.
Deputies arrested him four days after he reported his father’s death.
In August, Todd Fisher's defense attorneys sought to have the case dismissed after learning that Brett Hoagland, a Dawson County Sheriff's deputy and a friend and neighbor of the Fishers, had hired a cleaning service for the home after the killing.
The defense argued that the actions of Hoagland, who was also named as a beneficiary in Wilbur Fisher's will, potentially destroyed evidence that could have been used to prove Wilbur's death could have been a suicide, or that some other suspect was responsible.
Investigators acknowledged poor judgment on Hoagland's part, but countered that after two days of gathering evidence at the home, they had cleared the crime scene and allowed Todd Fisher to return to the property for a few days before he was arrested.
Dawson County District Judge Michael Hayworth on Nov. 9 issued a summary order denying the motion to dismiss the case, without elaborating further on his reasoning. However, he left open the door for the defense to address "the circumstances surrounding the clean-up at trial."