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The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 19, 2014 at 5:22 PM

Man indicted in Alaska slaying of former Washington lawmaker

The Associated Press

ANCHORAGE — A man accused of shooting an Alaska prosecutor in a jealous rage over a woman was indicted on murder charges by a grand jury.

Ronald Fischer, 47, was charged Thursday with first- and second-degree murder in the Dec. 8 shotgun death of Brian Sullivan, an assistant district attorney in Barrow, the country’s northernmost community.

Fischer was initially charged with first-degree murder after surrendering several hours following the shooting. The indictment supersedes that charge.

Authorities say Sullivan, 48, was shot twice in the home of a woman who had children in a previous relationship with Fischer. The indictment also charges Fischer with assault by placing the woman in fear with a shotgun.

The indictment was handed up in Nome because Sullivan had been presenting cases to a grand jury in Barrow. Fischer is expected to be arraigned on Monday.

He is represented by public defender Mark Billingsley, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Earlier cases involving misdemeanor charges against Fischer were being joined to the homicide case.

Fischer, a convicted felon, is charged with assault and resisting or interfering with arrest on Sept. 21. In an affidavit, North Slope Borough police Lt. Travis Welch said Fischer punched the same woman in the face, then used his 6-year-old daughter as a shield to prevent a police sergeant from using a stun gun on him.

Fischer eventually let the crying girl go and was arrested, but continued to verbally threaten the officer, according to the affidavit.

Fischer also is charged with violating conditions of his release after allegedly showing up at the woman’s home while he was required to remain more than 100 feet away from the residence.

Sullivan told police that he had removed himself as prosecutor in any of the cases against Fischer.

“He specifically told the investigating officer, in my presence, that a colleague would assume responsibility for Fischer’s prosecution,” Welch wrote.

Sullivan, a former Army attorney and Washington state legislator, began dating the woman on Nov. 21. She told authorities she had been under the impression that Fischer was comfortable with the relationship and was being civil for their children.

On the day of the shooting, the woman met Sullivan to work out at Barrow High School. Fischer also was there and looked upset but didn’t say anything, according to the woman.

Sullivan and the woman drove in separate vehicles to her home to eat dinner and watch a movie. Alone in her bedroom, she heard a door close and heard Fischer say, “Who are you?” and then a gunshot, according to the affidavit.

She hid in her bedroom closet until Fischer found her. Authorities say she lunged at the shotgun and held onto it with Fischer as they walked into the living room. Fischer said, “’Look at what you made me do,’” the affidavit states.

Bail for Fischer has been increased to $1 million from $500,000.

The state attorney general’s office said a fund for Sullivan’s three teenage daughters has been created for public donations.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: Alaska, homicide, indictment

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