Sentence Reduced for Man Convicted in 20-Year-Old Murder Case

San Antonio, TX - In a significant turn of events, a San Antonio man accused of the murder of a 79-year-old woman over two decades ago, saw his sentence dramatically reduced from 99 years to 18 years following his decision to plead guilty in the case on Monday.

Robert Fischer's plea agreement emerged after an appeals court voided Fischer's 2005 conviction due to the emergence of new evidence and technological advancements that were unavailable during his original trial, as confirmed by a spokesperson for the Bexar County District Attorney's Office on Tuesday.

Fischer, who had been free on bond leading up to Monday's hearing in the 226th District Court, was credited with 16 years of time served. However, he was taken back into custody while authorities from the Texas Department of Criminal Justice deliberate on whether he will be eligible for parole or required to serve the remaining portion of his sentence, which amounts to approximately two years.

Fischer faced charges in connection with the May 2003 murder of 79-year-old Edith Camp.

A Bexar County jury had convicted Fischer in August 2005, subsequently sentencing him to serve 99 years in prison.

In a comprehensive statement, a spokesperson for the District Attorney's Office outlined the appeals history of the case and explained the rationale behind offering Fischer a plea agreement:

"His conviction was reversed by the Fourth Court of Appeals due to an error at the trial court level in 2007. However, the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the Fourth Court's decision and affirmed the conviction. This marked the end of the direct appeals. In very late March of 2010, defendant Fischer filed an application for writ of habeas corpus. The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals denied defendant Fischer's initial habeas application. Defendant, however, filed a second habeas petition on a new legal basis as allowed by a change in state law. The new habeas petition had two prongs and was essentially based on new technology/evidence that was not available at the time of trial. After a hearing, the trial court determined that new evidence (the new evidence was about cell-phone tower location data) that was not available at trial 'was vital to the outcome of the case' and that - had the new evidence been presented originally - defendant 'would not have been convicted.' Defendant was released by TDCJ thereafter while the habeas appeals played out. Ultimately, the Court of Criminal Appeals upheld the trial court's findings as the new evidence and its alleged impact on the original trial. The decision by the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals negated the original conviction. And, from that point on, the case landed back with the prosecutors currently assigned to the original trial court. It fell to them to prosecute and handle a 2003 murder case in 2023."

Edith Camp, the victim in the case, was Fischer's aunt, and she was discovered shot to death inside her Hollywood Park residence, according to details outlined in the appeals paperwork related to the case. The paperwork also suggested a possible dispute over money between Camp and Fischer leading up to the tragic incident.