Judge Peggy Richardson heard and granted a motion for continuance from the State, according to Case.net.
An unexpected, last-minute motion from the prosecutor has once again delayed the trial of a man accused of assaulting an infant in Miller County in 2009.
The trial of Aaron Michael Fisher was set to begin January 8, 2018 in Laclede County Circuit Court with motions in limine from the defense, followed by jury selection. Instead, Judge Peggy Richardson heard and granted a motion for continuance from the State, according to Case.net. It is unclear at this time why the continuance was sought by the prosecution.
The continuance means the jury trial has been stricken. A case review and trial setting has now been scheduled for January 19, 2018. The case is in Laclede County Circuit Court in Lebanon after a change of venue from Miller County.
The first degree assault with serious physical injury to a special victim relates to an incident that occurred in October 2009. The charge carries a potential punishment of 10 to 30 years or life imprisonment in the Missouri Department of Corrections.
Just five months old at the time of the alleged assault, the victim - Fisher’s biological daughter - is now nearly nine.
Fisher was initially arrested and charged in October 2009 with two counts of forcible sodomy. 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.
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.
After several delays in the original case followed 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 that delayed the trial and whether Fisher had waived the once-requested speedy trial.
An appeal of the dismissal was denied by the appellate court.
Fisher was arrested on the assault charge over the same incident in November 2016. After being taken into custody in Toledo, Ohio, he was extradited to Miller County and has remained in law enforcement custody, now under the care of the Laclede County Sheriff’s Office.
Several motions to dismiss the new charge and a motion to reduce the $100,000 bond were denied.