It could be that NBC's Dateline Friday is repackaging its January report on a case that was either a murder, suicide or accidental fatal shooting involving a San Clemente divorce lawyer because there is a tie-in with the holidays. Or, as correspondent Keith Morrison promises in his video teaser after the jump, there may be "new developments" in his "In the Dead of Night" report airing tonight at
* NBC announced a time change this morning.
Actually, according to NBC News Communications spokeswoman Brianne Beers, viewers tonight will get both. The first hour of the program will be that original Jan. 24 report. The second hour will feature the new developments in the case. Morrison hosts both parts.
"A retired police officer's family visit over the holidays ends in tragedy when his son-in-law is found dead on the kitchen floor," Dateline teases. "Was it suicide or murder? Keith Morrison reports new details in a case that has taken many twists and turns."
Robert Douglas Fischer, a former police officer who went on to practice law out of an office in Tustin, went to Queen Creek southeast of Phoenix in December 2010 to visit his daughter-in-law's family during the holidays. An evening of drinking on Dec. 30 with his son-in-law–former Irvine entrepreneur and dirt bike magazine publisher Lee Radder–ended in tragedy. Radder died of a single shot through his right eye from Fischer's .38 handgun.
After a Maricopa County Sheriff's Office investigation, Fischer was arrested on suspicion of murder.
Prosecutors would go on to allege Fischer staged the shooting to appear to be a suicide, pointing to inconsistencies in what he is claimed to have told a police dispatcher and evidence that he supposedly moved the body before deputies arrived. Fischer was convicted by a jury in December 2013.
But a judge in February ruled that Fischer must get a new trial because no evidence was presented in the first trial proving he pulled the trigger on the gun that killed Radder. Fischer was released from jail in March–at the request of prosecutors making a procedural move that would allow them to appeal the ruling that overturned the jury verdict.
So there have indeed been many legal twists and turns in this case but, according to veteran newsman Morrison, there are also twists and turns in the stories of the principal players in this mystery that we'll apparently learn tonight.