[UPDATED with Phoenix Coverage:] Robert Douglas Fischer Held for Murder of Stepdaughter's Husband Norman "Lee" Radder
UPDATE, MAY 18, 9:06 A.M.: Phoenix New Times, the big sistah paper of OC Weekly, includes coverage today of the Maricopa County case against San Clemente's Robert Douglas Fischer, who is accused of second-degree murder for allegedly staging what he called in as the "suicide" of Norman "Lee" Radder.
Valley Fever blogger Matthew Hendley includes sheriff's and coroner's evidence that will make the case tougher for the retired cop-turned-family law attorney.
As mentioned in our Thursday posts, Fischer is said to have told a dispatcher and deputies that he was unsure who the suicide victim was, even though he knew Radder for 14 years and conceded he had been sleeping in the next room when a gunshot woke him. Radder, a former Irvine entrepreneur, was the husband of Fischer's stepdaughter, who some leaving comments to our posts claim was also in the Queen Creek, Arizona, home at the time of the shooting.
As Hendley reports, the probable cause statement reveals Fischer had blood spatter on his clothing, which would indicate he must have been in the room when the gun that belonged to him was fired, unless he moved Radder's body. Fischer is said to have told investigators he was "uncertain" if he touched or moved the corpse.
Maricopa County's medical examiner concluded blood-splatter analysis revealed it was a homicide, not a suicide, anyway.
UPDATE, MAY 17, 4:26 P.M.: Based on court documents filed in Maricopa County, Arizona, Robert Douglas Fischer did not make it hard for investigators to determine he was involved in a shooting death he'd called in as a suicide.
According to a probable cause statement, Fischer told 9-1-1 dispatchers he did not recognize the man who had been shot once. Sheriff's investigators quickly determined it was Norman "Lee" Radder, the husband of Fischer's stepdaughter. The San Clemente man had reportedly known Radder for 14 years.
The court documents, which also indicate Fischer lives in San Clemente--his town in these posts has previously been given as Orange, where he's a divorce attorney--claim that the gun used to shoot Radder was Fischer's own .38 handgun, and that the magazine and ammunition were in one compartment of his bag after responding deputies arrived.
Oh, and the gun itself? It was in Radder's right hand.
Radder was left-handed.
Here is the probable cause statement:
On 12/30/2010 at approximately 0508 hours Deputies responded to 20395 E. Via De Colina, Queen Creek Arizona, in reference to an individual that had been shot. The defendant had been the 911 caller and stated during the call that the victim had shot himself. Furthermore, the defendant did not recognize the victim to the 911 operator, deputies or investigators. Of note is the defendant had known the victim for approximately fourteen years. During the 911 call and upon speaking with deputies and investigators the defendant claimed to have been asleep within a room in the residence when he heard a gunshot and came out of the room to investigate. Upon examination of the scene and the defendants clothing it was determined that the defendant was present and in close proximity to the victim when the victim was shot. This was determined through blood spatter analysis. Furthermore, it was determined that the scene had been staged in order to appear to be a suicide based upon blood spatter analysis. It was further determined that the defendant was responsible for staging the scene due to the size of the victim and the defendant positively being identified as being within the scene. The firearm which was used in this instance was the defendants, there were no other firearms within the residence and the firearm which was used in this incident was recovered from the victim's right hand (it was later learned the victim was left handed). The defendant made statements to investigators and to witnesses in regards to the firearm that the firearm was unloaded and the ammunition separated from the magazine and the magazine separated from the weapon. The ammunition and magazine were placed in one compartment of the defendants bag and the weapon placed in another compartment. Of note is the defendant resides in California and had arrived at the victìm's residence in the afternoon of Post Miranda the defendant stated he was uncertain if he had touched' or moved the victim. The Office of the Medical Examiner conducted an investigation into the victim's death and determined the manner of the victim's death to be homicide.
On 05/02/2012 Mr. Fischer was taken into custody on a Grand Jury Warrant (CR 2012-006869-001) at his residence by members of the Orange County, California, Sheriffs Office.
UPDATE, MAY 17, 12:43 P.M.: According to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Department website, Robert Douglas Fischer was booked into an Arizona jail Wednesday on suspicion of second-degree murder.
His new Maricopa County shots follow:
UPDATE, MAY 15, 4:08 P.M.: A close friend of the late Norman "Lee" Radder has filled in some holes regarding his relationship to 52-year-old Orange divorce lawyer Robert Douglas Fischer, who is being held for Radder's murder.
Adam St. James, who writes that 49-year-old Radder "was a great inspiration, and a devoted father who taught me much about parenting, and life in general," reveals in the comments section below that Fischer is the stepfather to Radder's widow, Belinda Radder.
It was Fischer who made the 9-1-1 call reporting that Radder had shot himself to death in his Queen Creek, Arizona home on Dec. 30, 2010, according to St. James, who adds it was Fischer's gun Maricopa County sheriff's investigators found next to Radder's body.
"[T]here was only one person who claimed this was a suicide--and that man is now in jail," St. James writes. "Those who knew Lee unanimously agree: 'Suicide? Not Lee Radder.'"
A motive remains unknown as Maricopa County authorities are being understandably tight-lipped heading into a June 8 extradition hearing aimed at bringing Fischer back to the Arizona, where a grand jury has indicted him on a murder count.
Fischer remains in Orange County Jail pending that hearing.
ORIGINAL POST, MAY 14, 3:27 P.M.: An Orange divorce lawyer is up on murder charges in Arizona for the shooting death of a 49-year-old former Irvine resident and dirt bike magazine publisher who was originally believed to have taken his own life.
Robert Douglas Fischer, 52, of Orange, is currently being held without bail in the Men's Central Jail as Maricopa County authorities seek to extradite him for the December 2010 murder of Norman "Lee" Radder.
Around 5 a.m. on Dec. 30, 2010, someone in Radder's Queen Creek, Arizona, home called 9-1-1 to say Radder 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 relationship to Radder has not been revealed, was indicted May 2 for alleged second-degree homicide and is scheduled to appear in Orange County Superior Court June 8 for an extradition hearing.
Born in Lancaster, New York, which is near Buffalo, Radder had the perfect last name for Mx Rider, the Murrieta-based dirt-bike magazine he edited and shot photographs for. 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 entrepreneur and father of three also co-founded the Senacon information technology company in Irvine.
On the Friends of Lee Radder Facebook page, his loved ones had long hinted at justice coming for his killer. Many posted remembrances and support in the hours after Fischer was indicted.