Fisher pleads guilty
A Middlebourne man will have a minimum of ten years in prison to contemplate his felonious actions toward two children.
In Tyler County Circuit Court on Nov. 18, Judge David Hummel sentenced Eric John Fisher, 47, of 3601 Elk Fork Road toten to 20 years in the West Virginia Penitentiary for Men for crimes of a sexual nature alleged to have occurred several years ago.
Fisher appeared in court with his attorney Robert G. McCoid, who waived the defendant’s right to be tried before a jury and entered on Fisher’s behalf a guilty plea to counts two and six of the 13 counts against him, which were initiated by way of an information rather than a grand jury indictment.
Appearing for the prosecution was Tyler County Prosecutor A. Luke Furbee who explained that during the investigation which began early this year, Fisher had been advised of his legal rights before he made a full taped confession to not only the specific allegations against him, but to several other events not expressly mentioned in the charges.
When asked by Judge Hummel if the prosecution agreed with the terms of the plea agreement, Furbee agreed the solution was fair on two levels: justice was served in that Fisher would spend the next10 to 20 years of his life behind bars with no chance of parole for at least ten years, and the two young victims in the case would not have to endure the stress of being under the public eye for the duration of the case and beyond.
Guardian ad litem for the two victims Carolyn Flannery was outspoken in her impression of Fisher’s admission of guilt, in which he insinuated the impetus for his actions did not originate with him personally. “I am very disappointedI believe the effect on the children is grossly minimized.” However, in view of the fact the children and their parent agreed with the terms of the plea bargain, and that testifying could further “damage the children,” Flannery reluctantly expressed her approval.
Echoing Flannery’s hesitation, Judge Hummel pondered for several minutes how he would proceed. He finally stated, “The court is concerned with what this predator may do when he gets out.” He further compared Fisher’s passive demeanor to “a cold steel wall.”
Accepting the plea agreement Hummel sentenced Fisher to not less than10 nor more than 20 years for each of the two counts to which he pleaded guilty, with the sentences to be served concurrently and with credit for time already served.
The remaining 11 counts were dismissed. It was further ordered if and when Fisher is ever released on parole, he must register as a lifetime sexual offender, have his DNA entered into a predator database, and comply with all rules applicable to a sexual offender.