A father in Parmelia, Australia is accused of stabbing his own son to death and then leaving the body to be buried by his other children while he left to watch the AFL grand final. Ernie Fisher, 67, chose not to provide evidence in his own defense at his Supreme Court trial. Fisher was charged with murdering his 23-year-old son Mathew Fisher-Turner by stabbing him to death on October 1, 2016.
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Investigators discovered Mathew's body buried in the garden in the back of the family's Parmelia home. The body was found four weeks after being allegedly buried there by his brother Joshua Fisher-Turner, 28, and his sister, Hannah Fisher-Turner, 22. The prosecution concluded its case last week and time came for the defense to present evidence. Mr. Fisher's lawyer Sam Vandongen told the jury that Mr. Fisher opted not to provide evidence in his defense.
Mr. Fisher claims he murdered his son in self-defense and the defense of his other children after he allegedly "terrorized" the family with violent threats, according to investigators. Ms. Fisher told the jury she witnessed the alleged violence during the family outing to Coogee beach. "From his chest to his waist was riddled with bruises of all different colors and sizes … they were just everywhere," Ms. Fisher testified. "He was black and blue. His whole body was covered in different colors – it was like he was wearing tye-dye or something."
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When questioned about why the bruises were not mentioned in a statement given to police during the investigation, Ms. Fisher replied she had never seen her half-brother be violent toward anyone in the family before. All three family members made taped confessions to their respective roles in the killing and subsequent burying of Mathew during police interviews. Mr. Fisher told friends of Mathew that he had moved east with his girlfriend, and initially told police investigators the same thing. He ultimately admitted to killing his son. "It was me, it was me … I’m the one who killed him," Mr. Fisher said.
Mr. Fisher continued, "I couldn’t think of another solution … I couldn’t come up with anything. I knew I had to get the jump on him, he was powerful and agile. I think I’ve done the right thing, I really do, in a twisted way … he was an arsehole." Even after stabbing his own son to death and leaving his bloody corpse on the floor, Mr. Fisher told police that "footy was the priority". "I didn’t want to miss it … I’d done my bit," Mr. Fisher told police. Joshua Fisher-Turner told police, "I walked past, and went into my room … Matt was dead, he wasn’t moving. There was an amount of blood." Joshua also witnessed his father with two knives and was then left to deal with the aftermath.
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"I dragged him out on the ladder … I couldn’t carry him … Dad had left. I thought it was safer .. to hide him … now we’ve made it all worse. I didn’t want the family torn apart," Joshua said. The sister, Hannah, told police that after Mathew was murdered she suggested calling the police. "We all said we should call the cops … he (Matt) was abusive … it will be easier that way," Hannah said. "But Ernie said nah … and he got buried in the backyard. Someone had to dig a hole — I think Josh got made to do it." The closing arguments from prosecutors and the defense are set to begin tomorrow.
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