Robert Douglas Fischer, OC Divorce Lawyer, Guilty of Murdering Former Irvine Publisher
An Orange divorce lawyer who needed a criminal attorney for a murder trial in Maricopa County Superior Court in Arizona may now be shopping for an expert in appeals, as he was convicted Thursday of killing his stepdaughter's husband and making it appear as a suicide.
Robert Douglas Fischer was convicted of the second-degree murder of Norman "Lee" Radder, a 49-year-old former Irvine entrepreneur and dirt bike magazine publisher.
The Friends of Lee Radder Facebook page was the first to announce Thursday: "GUILTY FOR FISCHER. 2nd degree murder." Maricopa County court records confirmed the conviction this morning.
Around 5 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010, someone in Radder's Queen Creek, Arizona, home called 9-1-1 to say the resident had shot himself. Maricopa County sheriff's officials awaited the results of an autopsy and toxicology reports before announcing the coroner believed the death was a homicide.
Fischer, whose law office is based in Orange, was indicted May 2, 2012, in Arizona for second-degree homicide. A probable cause statement indicated that Fischer made the 9-1-1 call, telling dispatchers he did not recognize the man who had been shot once. Actually, the San Clemente resident had known Radder, the husband of his stepdaughter, for 14 years.
The stepfather also told authorities he had been asleep in another room of the home when he heard a gunshot, but blood splatter on his clothing indicated he was in the room at the time of the shooting. The gun was Fischer's own .38 handgun and the magazine and ammunition for it were in a compartment of his bag after the fact.
By the way, the gun was in Radder's right hand, even though he was left-handed.
Fischer was extradited to Arizona after an Orange County Superior Court hearing. In court in Arizona, his lawyer Dwane Cates conceded his client lied to the police multiple times the night of the shooting. Fischer faces at least 16 years in prison at his scheduled June 6 sentencing.
Born in Lancaster, New York, which is near Buffalo, Radder edited, published and shot photographs for Murrieta-based dirt-bike magazine Mx Rider. A passionate motocross enthusiast since his youth, Radder also helped riders develop personalized websites so they could share their racing exploits from the road. The father of three co-founded the Senacon information technology company in Irvine.
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in Orange County, delivered to your inbox Monday through Friday.