Michael Fisher listened without visible emotion as a judge Monday afternoon found him guilty of murdering his wife and son.
But then Fisher, 43, stood, turned and stepped toward Deputy Scott Eby, punching the officer in the left side of the face and then, using both hands, attempted to take Eby's semi-automatic handgun from its holster.
Eby pushed Fisher against a wall as four other deputies and Battle Creek Police Detective Brad Wise rushed to help.
The deputies bent Fisher over a small wall that separates the spectator section from the well of the courtoom and used a Taser electric shock weapon to subdue him and take him to the floor.
"He was going for the gun," Assistant Prosecutor Mike Jaconette said later. "And he would have used the gun the way he used it before."
Before he attacked, Fisher listened to Calhoun County Circuit Court Judge Allen Garbrecht find him guilty of two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.
He was charged with the Dec. 28, 2006, shooting death of his wife, Candy Fisher, 38, and their son, Michael Fisher II, 12. They were shot and killed in the family's Battle Creek home at 21 E. Territorial Road.
Defense attorneys Justin McCarthy and Leslie Kranenberg had waived a jury in the case and, after three days of testimony last week, Garbrecht listened to closing arguments Monday morning and deliberated about 3 1/2 hours before announcing his verdict at 1:30 p.m.
Several members of Candy Fisher's family, including her daughter, Nicole Burgdorf, listened to the verdict, but then Burgdorf, screaming, hid between the spectator pews until Fisher was restrained and taken from the courtroom, laughing.
Burgdorf, still visibly shaken several minutes later, left the courthouse saying only, "I am very happy with the verdict."
The defense attorneys declined comment but Jaconette said, "It was the right verdict and makes him accountable for what he did."
Jaconette, however, called the judge's decision bittersweet "because the verdict doesn't bring anyone back."
Last week, Garbrecht ruled Fisher's lawyers did not present enough evidence for him to consider an insanity defense but Monday he concluded Fisher suffers some mental illness and found him guilty but mentally ill.
That decision won't change the penalty of mandatory life in prison but could signal the corrections department to provide Fisher with some treatment.
But after the attack in the courtroom, Fisher will face a new charge of attempting to disarm an officer and that will be noted on his prison record.
He will be sentenced June 19.
In his ruling, Garbrecht said evidence that showed Fisher was the killer included: DNA of the two victims' blood found on Fisher after the shooting, the murder weapon that was located in his car and his own statements to his sister.
The judge discounted a defense argument that the shootings were accidental, noting Candy Fisher was shot in the forehead at close range and Michael Fisher II was shot in the back of the head and the chest, both fatal wounds.
The judge said statements Fisher made to several people that his marriage was in trouble and he feared his wife would take their son from him as well as a comment he made a couple of days before the murder to Candy Fisher's brother that "you know you could kill your wife and child and get away with it by pleading insanity" showed premeditation.
He said Fisher's statements taken alone were not enough, but together and in hindsight, it showed he planned the killings.
"I am convinced the defendant shot and killed the victims and when he killed them he intended to do what he did," Garbrecht said.
Trace Christenson can be reached at 966-0685 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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