SOURCE: The Post and Courier – November 6, 2017, Andrew Knapp | Read entire article
A young Mount Pleasant resident pleaded guilty Tuesday in a 2015 deadly stabbing of another teenager during a love feud.
Matthew Fischer was 16 when he said he stabbed 17-year-old Lucas Cavanaugh in the Park West neighborhood, where Fischer’s girlfriend lived. He said he was defending himself.
But during a brief hearing in downtown Charleston, Fisher, now 19, pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter. Circuit Judge Markley Dennis is expected to sentence him later this month.
Fischer had been charged with murder, which carries between 30 years and life in prison. The lesser manslaughter count brings between two and 30 years. No penalty has been agreed upon.
Prosecutors have pointed to text messages before the fatal confrontation in which Fischer told Cavanaugh, a friend of his girlfriend’s, not to meddle in his relationship. He threatened Cavanaugh, “I’ll … kill you. … Come here right now.”
His plea on Tuesday came a month before his trial date in December. The judge had already denied him immunity from prosecution under the state’s “stand your ground” law that protects people who use deadly force to defend themselves.
Attorney Andy Savage of Charleston said Tuesday that his team had fully explored the self-defense claim but that Fischer, his family and lawyers agreed that he should accept responsibility for the crime.
SOURCE: The Post and Courier