ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – A 37-year-old St. Paul man is facing charges after an assault at an apartment turned deadly on Sunday.
Joseph Edward Fischer was charged with one count of second-degree murder without intent in the stabbing death of 35-year-old Thomas Joseph Rivard of St. Paul Park. The incident took place at Fischer’s apartment at 571 Aldine St. Sunday night.
According to court documents, police were called just before 8 p.m. Sunday to an assault at the apartment. Fischer called, the suspect, called 911 and said that he was fighting with a man who he stabbed. He said he didn’t want the man to die.
When officers arrived, the entered the apartment and saw Fischer sitting in a living room recliner, showing no emotion. A short time later, officers located Rivard, lying on the floor on his back. His head was under the leg of the rocker Fischer was sitting on. Rivard had blood on his torso and didn’t have a pulse. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to the complaint, authorities recovered a large serrated kitchen knife with blood and hair on it at the apartment. Fischer was arrested and said, “I know I committed a crime” and said he wanted to be treated like a normal human being.
The Ramsey County Medical Examiner reported Rivard suffered a stab wound to the chest about seven inches deep as well as a stab wound to the left back about eight inches deep. He died of severe blood loss and his death was ruled a homicide.
The complaint states Fischer told police it was a very “unfortunate situation.” He said they had consumed a lot of alcohol that night, that Rivard was a friend and they grew up together. Fischer said his younger brother died two weeks ago and he met Rivard at a bar Sunday to watch the Vikings game. They were drinking pitchers of beer before heading to Wisconsin to buy “booze.”
They returned to Fischer’s apartment, and he said Rivard had “to go make excuses to his mom or whatever.” He said Rivard’s parents were controlling and it was silly that he had to make excuses to hang out with his boyhood friend.
The complaint states Fischer told Rivard to “chill out” and that Rivard was making him angry when he talked about his brother being dead. The investigator told Fischer that it looked like they had fought and then Fischer called 911. Fischer vaguely remembered the fight. The investigator told Fischer that Rivard had died, and Fischer put his head down and said, “I’m so tired of people dying around me.”
Rivard’s mother told police he was going to visit Fischer because he was distraught about his brother dying. She said he wanted to help Fischer, and that she didn’t want to. Rivard had been sober and feared he would relapse if he was with Fischer.
If convicted, Fischer faces up to 40 years in prison.