What to Know
- Leo Fisher testified about seeing Andrew Schmuhl shoot his wife and thinking she was dead.
- Police officers testified that Fisher and his wife were found suffering from multiple stab wounds and struggling to stay alive.
- Schmuhl's lawyers are conceding Schmuhl attacked the couple but are saying he was taking many medications around the time of the attack.
A lawyer almost killed in a bizarre and brutal attack in his Virginia home testified Monday he thought the intruder killed his wife.
Leo Fisher took the stand for the prosecution Monday in the trial of Andrew Schmuhl, the lawyer accused in the Nov. 9, 2014, attack on Fisher and his wife, Sue Duncan. Fisher is a partner in an Arlington law firm that fired Schmuhl's wife, Alecia, two weeks prior to the attack.
Fisher told the jury that once inside their McLean home, Schmuhl used a Taser on him, tied him up and tied up his wife. Schmuhl never identified himself but questioned Fisher about Alecia Schmuhl for hours until, "The next think I know, he knocked me over backwards, he puts the pillow on me, he cuts my throat and starts stabbing me," Fisher said.
Fisher said his wife started screaming and Schmuhl shot her.
"He brought up a gun and he shot her, and I saw her hair go 'boom' and I thought he killed her," Fisher said. "She fell to the floor."
The bullet grazed her scalp.
Fisher said he was in and out of consciousness but remembers his wife covered in blood while they struggled to call 911.
Fisher told the jury that his life has significantly changed since the night of the attack.
"My tongue now bends to the left,” he said. “I can't feel or move the left side. It's very difficult for me to move food around and chew it."
Fairfax County Police officers described the gruesome scene they found. They testified that Fisher and his wife were suffering from multiple stab wounds and were struggling to stay alive.
Duncan testified Friday that Schmuhl came to the door of their home flashed a badge and said he was going to arrest Fisher. When asked why he was there, he said Fisher had a hit out on a Mexican drug cartel, Duncan testified.
She testified tearfully that during the attack, she thought her husband had been killed and she played dead so it would stop.
Schmuhl's lawyers are conceding Schmuhl attacked the couple that night but are using an "involuntary insanity defense," saying their client was taking many medications around the time of the attack. They say his wife was the mastermind of the plan, which was poorly executed by her foot soldier husband.
A judge ruled last month the Schmuhls will have separate trials. Andrew Schmuhl's lawyers asked for separate trials when they learned his wife might use the defense that she's been a victim of years of spousal abuse and was programmed to do whatever her husband asked.
Alecia Schmuhl will go on trial in the fall.