A father who brutally murdered his own son and then watched the AFL Grand Final while his other children cleaned up the body has been sentenced. Ernie Fisher was sentenced to life in prison and will spend at least the next 18 years of his life in prison. Fisher killed his 24-year-old son Mathew Fisher-Turner on October 1, 2016, by repeatedly stabbing him until he died at the family's home in Parmelia.
After killing his son, Fisher left the family home and went to watch the AFL Grand Final while his other children decided to bury the body in the backyard. His body was buried by his older brother Joshua and their 19-year-old sister Hannah. It was weeks before the body was discovered ultimately leading to the trial where Justice Stephen Hall said his actions were motivated by "hatred".
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Fisher claimed he killed his son in self-defense, leaving his other two children to make what Justice Hall called an "appalling" choice between whether to help their father or destroying what was left of the family. Joshua was sentenced to four years in prison and Hannah got three years and eight months over charges of being accessories to his murder.
The family's defense attorneys argued that Matt was an angry, violent, and abusive often using threats and force to "terrorize" the family. The court heard of how most of that alleged violence was directed at the father, Ernie Fisher. A video taken on Mathew's own phone just a few months before his death showed him arguing and taunting his brother Joshua who shouted back.
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The eldest Fisher could be heard saying that Mathew was "tearing this family apart". When Mathew didn't show up to his rigging job Monday people started asking questions. Fisher told everyone who asked about his son that he had gone east with a "hot chick". Fisher eventually admitted, "I couldn’t think of another solution … I couldn’t come up with anything."
Fisher continued, "I knew I had to get the jump on him, he was powerful and agile - I think I’ve done the right thing, I really do, in a twisted way … he was an arsehole." During his sentencing hearing, Justice Hall called Fisher's actions "reprehensible" and his actions immediately following the crime almost as bad. "It is disturbing you thought killing your son was justified … you have shown no regret or remorse, and this callousness is confirmed by the treatment of Matthew’s body," Justice Hall said.
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