The trial in an assault of an infant in Miller County is set to begin Monday.
The incident dates back to 2009 and has a long history in the courts. Just five months old at the time, the victim is now nearly nine.
The child’s father, Aaron Michael Fisher, is charged with first degree assault with serious physical injury/special victim, a Class A felony. The charge carries a potential punishment of 10 to 30 years or life imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
The jury trial is slated to begin January 8, 2018, preceded by a hearing on two defense motions in limine — motions seeking to limit or prevent certain evidence from being presented during the trial. The dates of January 8 to 12 have been set aside for the trial in Laclede County Circuit Court after a change of venue from Miller County.
Public defender Adam Cartwright will represent Fisher after public defender Kimberly Kollmeyer withdrew as counsel in July 2017. Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Ben Winfrey will represent the state, and Judge Peggy Richardson will preside.
Formerly a resident of Brumley, Fisher is accused of assaulting his five-month-old daughter on Oct. 27, 2009. He was arrested on the assault charge in 2016 after a warrant was issued November 16, 2016. The 28-year-old was taken into custody in Toledo, Ohio and transferred to Miller County within a couple of weeks of the warrant being issued. Fisher has remained in law enforcement custody, now under the care of the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office.
Several motions to dismiss and a motion to reduce the $100,000 bond were denied.
In October 2009, Fisher was initially arrested and charged with two counts of forcible sodomy, which carry a required term of life imprisonment with eligibility for probation or parole. Though he initially confessed to the physical and sexual abuse diagnosed in a doctor’s examination on Oct. 28, 2009, Fisher later recanted, saying he couldn’t remember what happened.
The victim was diagnosed with numerous facial bruises, a left acute mildly displaced comminuted left parietal and non displaced left occipital skull fracture, a large scalp contusion; an acute bilateral frontal subarachnoid and parafalcine subdural hemorrhages; and extensive pre, intra, and sub retinal hemorrhages, according to the probable cause statement.
After several delays in the trial following a request from Fisher for a speedy trial, a Cole County judge assigned to the case in 2015 dismissed the charges, finding that Fisher’s right to a speedy trial had been violated. Court records cited by Judge Patricia Joyce in her decision appeared to lack documentation on which party had requested several continuances and whether Fisher had waived the once-requested speedy trial.
While being held without bond in the old case, Fisher was charged with damaging jail property. He served his sentence on that charge while being held on the original case.
Initially placed in emergency protective care, the victim and an older sibling were later adopted. Their mother Samantha Widman lost parental rights after pleading guilty to child endangerment. She received probation.