BILLINGS – Prosecutors are suggesting in charging documents filed against Todd Fisher, accused of killing his father last month, that the victim’s financial assets were a motive for the murder.
Fisher, 44 years old, was charged in Dawson County District Court on Friday with deliberate homicide and tampering with evidence.
Fisher is accused of murdering his 80-year-old father, Wilbur.
Fisher called police before 7 a.m. on Oct. 16 to report his father’s death.
According to court documents, Fisher said told dispatch calmly that he had “been on the river bottom for about two days.” Fisher explained that his father had been killed by a gunshot wound to the head and said a safe had been broken into.
When authorities arrived at the home on Road 238, they found Wilbur dead. It was not immediately clear to authorities how the victim was killed, according to court documents.
The coroner determined the victim had likely been dead at least a day. An autopsy revealed the victim died from a gunshot wound to the head.
A .38 or .357 caliber bullet had been fired through the victim’s eye and was lodged in his head, making it difficult to immediately determine he was shot.
Investigators searched the home and looked in the safe, where they found several firearms and the victim’s will. Fisher admitted he had recently seen his father’s will for the first time and knew that he was the beneficiary.
According to the document, Todd would receive $60,000 in life insurance, bank accounts and the family ranch if Wilbur died.
Officers found a gun in the bushes outside the home, which chambered a fired cartridge.
Fisher told authorities his previous statement about what happened was “hogwash” and that the timeline he provided was false.
Fisher told authorities he left the house that day because he and his father were concerned that CIA agents were out to get Wilbur.
When he returned home, Fisher said he found the door to the house kicked in and said he noticed one of his father’s pistols lying in a chair. Fisher said he became suspicious and concerned before finding his father unresponsive upstairs. Fisher said his father was unresponsive “with damage to the head, maybe a gunshot.”
When asked about the lack of damage to the door or safe, Fisher had no answer.
An employee of Adult Protective Services told officers the victim had been in the hospital for a fall in May. The employee said she explained to Todd how to become his father’s legal guardian, and he became upset and said he couldn’t take on that responsibility.
“I am gonna have a mental break down and go to Warm Springs over this,” the woman recalled Todd saying.
For some time, Todd allegedly refused to let his father come home from the hospital.
While the victim was in the hospital, Todd reportedly charged $10,000 to his father’s credit card without permission. Wilbur did not wish to press charges against his son, according to the employee, and he instead got a new credit card.
Authorities then learned that Todd tried to have his father forcibly placed in a VA Hospital so that he could gain control of his father’s land and money. Witnesses told investigators that Todd constantly called his father insulting names, adding that he would not be sad about when his father died.
Two months before the murder, Todd reportedly called and left his father a voicemail where he screamed that he “couldn’t take it any longer.”
Wilbur had told his friend about the message and said he didn’t understand his son’s anger, noting that he could take care of himself.
Fisher is being held at the Dawson County jail on $1 million bond.
MTN’s Aja Goare