"Fischbacher wasn't taking as much of the anti-psychotic medication as he had in the past, and when Lisa Fischbacher came home two hours late one night, he was upset, Meloy said."
Tucsonan gets 16 years in wife's beating death
Kim Smith Arizona Daily Star | Posted: Tuesday, June 29, 2010 12:00 am
When Henry Fischbacher repeatedly struck his wife in the head with a heavy flashlight, he had no conscious thought that his blows might be fatal – he just wanted to hurt her for "humiliating" him, a forensic psychologist told Judge John Leonardo Monday.
In Pima County Superior Court, Leonardo had to decide on Monday what sentence to impose on Fischbacher for the Oct. 6, 2006, death of Lisa Fisch- bacher, 47.
Fischbacher, 51, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in exchange for prosecutors' dismissing the first-degree-murder charge he originally faced.
The Tucson resident's attorney, Stephen Weiss, put forensic psychologist J. Reid Meloy on the stand Monday in an attempt to convince Leonardo that Fischbacher suffers from bipolar disorder (commonly called manic-depression) and should be granted leniency.
Fischbacher was facing between 16 and 20 years; Leonardo gave him 16 years.
Meloy testified that Fisch- bacher was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 1992 and was taking an anti-psychotic drug and an antidepressant at the time of his wife's death.
Fischbacher wasn't taking as much of the anti-psychotic medication as he had in the past, and when Lisa Fischbacher came home two hours late one night, he was upset, Meloy said.
Fischbacher became angrier when his wife refused to apologize, and after she went to bed, he began to strike her with the flashlight, Meloy said. He later dragged her to the couple's pool and dumped her in.
Without a high dose of the anti-psychotic drug in his system, Fischbacher was highly impulsive and unable to distinguish what was reality from what wasn't, Meloy said.
Deputy Pima County Attorney Nicol Green asked for the maximum sentence, saying that any leniency already had been built into the plea agreement.
Fischbacher said his wife cried out when he was bludgeoning her, and she struggled when she went under the water, Green said. After the slaying, Fischbacher packed a bag and called in sick to work.
Court documents indicate deputies found the victim after Henry Fischbacher's sister called 911 to report that her brother had confessed to her.
Fischbacher fled to Canada, where he was taken into custody on Oct. 10, 2006, by the Parry Sound, Ontario, Provincial Police Department.
Fischbacher arrived back in Tucson last November after lengthy extradition proceedings.
Contact reporter Kim Smith at 573-4241 or firstname.lastname@example.org