By Scott North
Snohomish County prosecutors have decided against seeking the death penalty for a Monroe man charged with a November 2000 killing.
Scott Allen Fischer, 33, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of Tina M. Wallace, 39, also of Monroe. Prosecutors had until Monday to seek his death.
Jim Krider, the county’s prosecuting attorney, said his office has decided against trying to convince a jury that Fischer should die.
Krider said he reached the decision in consultation with senior deputy prosecutors and investigators involved with the case, as well as the slain woman’s family. Not only did investigators feel it would be difficult to prove that Fischer’s alleged actions deserve death, prosecutors were concerned about appeals.
"We know how difficult it is to sustain them, and this is one we didn’t think we would be able to, given our (state) Supreme Court," Krider said.
The state’s high court has thrown out death sentences for two of the last three Snohomish County men sent to death row.
The lone exception is James Homer Elledge, 58, who is seeking his own death for the 1998 killing of a woman at a Lynnwood church. The state’s high court upheld Elledge’s death sentence on Thursday.
Deputy prosecutor Seth Fine said Monday that Elledge has expedited the formal waiving of his appeals, and it appears as if his execution could occur anytime between mid-August and October.
Fisher’s trial is scheduled for November. He’s pleaded innocent. If convicted as charged, he would face life in prison without possibility of release.
Wallace was last seen alive Nov. 12, 2000, leaving the Chopping Block Tavern in Monroe, where she had been sitting with Fischer. Her body was found Nov. 27 along a road south of Monroe. An autopsy showed Wallace died from numerous blows to the head, and her killer likely had sexually assaulted her.
Prosecutors say Fischer admitted having sex with Wallace. Investigators found blood in his car that genetic tests show came from the victim, according to court papers. They also say a bloodstained sweatshirt found with Wallace’s body may have been worn at different times by both Fischer and his wife.
You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431 or send e-mail to email@example.com.