Dateline   |  January 24, 2014

'In the Dead of Night' part 5

Rob Fischer stands trial for second degree murder, but will a case without a motive be difficult to prove?

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> so if i'm a betting man, where should i put my money?

>> i'm optimistic that i will be acquitted or this case will be dismissed. i believe that and i would put your money on me.

>> narrator: lee radder's family was counting on the jury too, for quite the opposite result.

>> will we ever find out what happened truthfully? i don't know. do i want somebody to pay for his death? yes.

>> this case is about a cover.

>> narrator: prosecutor jay radmaker began by telling the jury that lee radder did not commit suicide .

>> lee loved his family, especially his girls. lee would have never done something like this inside of his home.

>> this is his childhood best friend that told the jury lee never got depressed over money issues.

>> one of his favorite things that i have tried to be motivated by is just how you can always make more money.

>> besides, said the prosecutor, in december 2010 , lee believed he was about to hit paydirt. lee's business partner told the jury about the conversation they had just hours before lee's death.

>> and we were ready to go. i mean we were charged up.

>> how was lee acting at the end of your phone call with him?

>> he was happy that he had family over, he was going to go have a couple of cocktails and he would call me tomorrow.

>> narrator: the state called belinda, lee's wife, now in the clear, no longer a suspect. but a reluctant witness not convinced that her stepdad was a murder.

>> he said that he committed suicide . so that's what i felt my truth to be. yet she told the jury, that night lee seemed like the same old lee.

>> how did he appear?

>> just like a regular night.

>> nothing was different?

>> not that i recall.

>> narrator: so lee had no reason to commit suicide , said the prosecutor. no, the only possible explanation was that lee was murdered. his theory? as lee radder and rob fischer sat at the kitchen table drinking vodka into the we hours of that morning, nothing must have happened. nothing that so aroused rob, that he came back, got his gun, shot lee through the right eye and then panicked and went about staging the scene.

>> the science doesn't lie. people do.

>> narrator: in fact the arriving officer told the jury about those red flags he saw,s a soon as he spotted the gun in lee's hand.

>> to me it appeared that it was placed in his hand.

>> how is gravity not taking its course, either allowing his body to fall forward . if he shot himself how did the gun remaining in his hand.

>> but it doesn't really work with rob putting the gun in his hand. this is an ex-cop we're talking about.

>> narrator: he thought it suspicious that he washed his hands when he was told not to.

>> i sa

>> rob's confusion about who was actually dead, sure theater said the prosecutor.

>> narrator: rob knew that that was lee on the ground, but he's trying to cover up a murder.

>> evidence of a cover-up? in his first interview, rob said he had been sleeping in the guest bedroom when the shot was fired. but as the prosecutor told the jury, rob was in fact sitting right at the kitchen table with lee. how could he know that? well, for one thing the guest bed didn't look slept in. and also, there were two glasses in the kitchen which still contained unmelted ice, suggesting of course that both men were awake and drinking around 5:00 a.m .

>> narrator: did you find it odd that there was ice in the glasses at 5:15 in the morning?

>> yes.

>> and then the key piece of the prosecution's case, the blood spatter expert.

>> narrator: mr. fischer moved mr. radder's body and manipulated the area to make it look like mr. radder had sustained the shot and fell backwards.

>> the expert demonstrated for the jury how after lee was shot, his body would have slumped forward in the chair, not backward, the way he was found. so rob must have moved lee's body on to the ground. which, accounts, said the experts for the blood droppings on the floor.

>> i think he just dragged him on to the ground.

>> so the forensics said murder. but why would he do it? what possible motivation did he have? no idea, said the prosecutor.

>> narrator: there's no evidence of a disagreement between the two of them, nothing like that?

>> no.

>> but that wasn't the issue, he said. hard evidence was --

>> narrator: when you start putting all the pieces together, you only get one explanation and that's murder.

>> and that wasn't quite true. there was a second explanation. the jury was about to hear it.

>> narrator: