By Scott North
A Monroe man charged with a November 2000 killing now won’t face trial on the charge until April 2002.
Scott Allen Fischer, 34, is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of Tina M. Wallace, 39, also of Monroe. If convicted, he faces a mandatory sentence of life in prison without possibility of release.
His trial was set for November, but on Wednesday it was continued at the request of Fischer’s attorney, Bill Jaquette, Snohomish County’s chief public defender.
Jaquette told Superior Court Judge James Allendoerfer more time is needed for genetic testing of evidence and for the defense to adequately prepare for the trial. He also said his time to work on the case has been limited because of other legal matters, including providing legal representation to James Homer Elledge, 58, who was executed Aug. 28 for a killing three years before.
Fischer told the judge he supports the delay, even though that is not his first choice.
"I’m innocent of these charges, and I don’t really want to wait," he said, but added, "I trust my lawyer."
Deputy prosecutor Michael Magee told the judge he is ready for trial now, but knows he’d only be courting appellate headaches if he resisted the continuance.
Genetic tests are pending for blood found under one of Wallace’s fingernails, a discovery that wasn’t reported by the state crime lab until mid-July. A different type of genetic testing is planned for hairs found on a sweatshirt located near the slain woman’s body.
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 earlier genetic tests show came from the victim, according to court papers.
You can call Herald Writer Scott North at 425-339-3431
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