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Grandmother not competent to stand trial

Grandmother not competent to stand trial

Case will move forward if woman accused of killing former son-in-law is deemed competent after treatment

February 23rd, 2016 by Lynn LaRowe in Texarkana News
Anne Fisher and her attorney, Mark Lesher, listen Monday, Feb. 22, 2016 as Judge Bill Miller orders Fisher to take all medication she is prescribed while in custody. Fisher has been declared incompetent to stand trial in the 2015 fatal shooting of her son-in-law, Russell Scott Cain.

Anne Fisher and her attorney, Mark Lesher, listen...

Photo by Evan Lewis /Texarkana Gazette.

A Texarkana grandmother accused of shooting her former son-in-law after bringing him lunch from a local deli last July has been found incompetent to stand trial.

Annette "Anne" Fisher, 53, appeared with area attorney Mark Lesher for a pretrial hearing Monday morning before 5th District Judge Bill Miller at the Bi-State Justice Building. As Fisher meekly responded to questions from the court, members of Russell Scott Cain's family, clad in black shirts emblazoned with #TEAMRUSS, watched from the audience.

Assistant District Attorney Lauren Richards told the court she is preparing an order for Miller to sign leading to Fisher's commitment to a maximum security, state-run mental facility, such as Rusk State Hospital. The psychologist who evaluated Fisher last month did not address whether she was competent July 22, when she allegedly emptied two magazines from a Ruger .380 semi-automatic pistol into Cain around lunchtime at the Pete Mankins Used Car Center on Summerhill Road in Texarkana, Texas.

If Fisher can be brought to competency through treatment, including medication, she will return to Bowie County and the case will move forward.

"All other hearings are going to be stayed," Miller said. "I want part of the order to say that whatever medications she is prescribed there, she has to take. She can't refuse them."

Lesher said Fisher has been taking medications prescribed to her since her arrest July 22.

"That's not what this report says," Miller said.

To be deemed competent, a defendant must be found able to understand the criminality of the conduct with which they are accused, capable of understanding what is happening around them, and able to assist their lawyer in preparation of a defense. According to sources close to the investigation, Fisher may have had a psychotic break and is having difficulty communicating.

When she was taken into custody just minutes after Cain was gunned down, Fisher told investigators she believed Cain was abusing her then 3-year-old grandson. Cain and Fisher's daughter have been divorced since May 2015, and Cain was awarded full custody of his son and 1-year-old daughter.

Cain reportedly allowed the children to regularly spend time with Fisher and likely thought nothing of her desire to stop by his place of work with some children's items and lunch, according to a probable cause affidavit used to create the following account. Cain was shot nine times in the parking lot and died a short time later at a local hospital. Horrified witnesses allegedly followed Fisher as she drove away, reporting her location to police. When Fisher was arrested on North Park Road in Texarkana, Texas, a Ruger .380 pistol was allegedly found on the passenger seat of her car.

In cases where a defendant has been deemed incompetent to proceed, the court typically receives updates from the mental facility of committment every 30 to 90 days. If Fisher refuses to comply with her treatment plan at the hospital, the judge can order the forcible administration of medication.

If convicted of first-degree murder, Fisher faces five to 99 years or life in a Texas prison.

llarowe@texarkanagazette.com

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