BILLINGS, Mont. – Defense attorneys asked the judge to discharge against a Montana man accused of killing his handicapped father, after a sheriff’s deputy who was named as a beneficiary in the victim’s will, had the place of the crime professionally cleaned.
Dawson County Chief Deputy Brett Hoagland, was a friend and neighbor of Wilbur Fisher, 80, which the plaintiffs claim was a shot in the eye last October by his son, Todd, at their home in the near Glendive, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northeast of Billings, Montana. Todd Fisher has pleaded not guilty to charges of deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.
During a Monday hearing, Hoagland said he cleaned the scene of the crime as a favor to the family, despite the fact that ordered by the Sheriff Ross Canen to stay away from the house because of his ties to the Fishermen, the Billings Gazette reported .
Investigators testified they spent two days collecting evidence on the Fisher house prior to the cleaning, and had cleared the crime scene. Canen said that he is no longer considered a murder scene.
But the defense lawyers claimed Hoagland left the cleaning to take advantage of Wilbur Fisher’s death. Hoagland is to move the list of the beneficiaries as Todd Fisher is convicted because the defendant would lose his status in the will of the father.
“Seen the Chief Deputy Hoagland’s training and experience, the question remains as to what other possible motive would he have held, and the intentional destruction of the crime scene,” prosecutor Cynthia Thornton wrote in a court brief.
Wilbur Fisher had lost both legs and one arm and Hoagland would sometimes check on him when he was still alive.
The cleaning service hired by Hoagland removed bloody carpet, bedding and a mattress, and scrubbed the walls in the room where Fisher’s body was found.
“It seemed like it had to be done,” Hoagland said. “When I was there, it was already smell and I was worried about the insect infestation, rodent problem in the house. I didn’t want the whole place destroyed.”
Montana district court judge Michael Hayworth is not immediately rule on the request to dismiss the case.
Information from: The Billings Gazette, http://www.billingsgazette.com