Danielle Fischer, a 24-year-old Illinois mom of a three-year-old boy beaten to death by the mom’s live-in lover, narrowly escaped a murder charge of her own on Friday, when a judge dismissed the charge against her because he said that her constitutional rights had been violated.
Judge Robert Freitag ruled that the state violated Fischer’s guaranteed right to a speedy trial, according to reports in The Pantagraph newspaper.
However, Freitag left in place a charge of child endangerment against Fischer in the 2013 beating death of her son, Robbie Cramer. Fischer’s boyfriend at the time, 25-year-old Nicholas Compton, was convicted earlier this year of beating the little boy repeatedly, leading directly to Robbie’s death.
Prosecutors and police said that Compton would frequently beat the boy during the weeks leading up to his death, while Fischer was out of the house at work. Compton has denied ever injuring Robbie, a Central Illinois Proud report states, telling police in an interview played at his trial, “If you’re asking me to confess that I hurt this kid, I won’t. Because I didn’t do it.”
The judge in his trial in January noted that the little boy was “hit with such tremendous force” that the blow, “caused it to force open his intestines.”
Compton contended that the boy was accident prone, burning his finger, falling in the bathtub and other such incidents. But investigators noted that, “You say he’s a klutz, but not anyone who has ever described him before as a klutz.”
In a text message revealed at his trial, Compton described Robbie Cramer as behaving like an abused dog. In a store surveillance video revealed at Compton’s trial and taken just hours before Robbie passed away, the little one could be seen leaning over a shopping cart, unable even to stand up on his own due to the severe nature of his injuries.
Danielle Fischer had been charged with murder, as well. Prosecutors say she failed to take Robbie to seek medical attention, even after she knew he had been repeatedly injured as a result of Compton’s beatings.
She also kept the child away from his grandparents out of fear that they would ask too many questions about Robbie’s obvious injuries.
Compton is now serving a life sentence for the beating and tortured death of little Robbie Cramer.
On Friday, a lawyer for Danielle Fischer told Judge Freitag that her right to a trial within 160 days had been violated — by 74 days. And the judge agreed. Fischer’s trial on the remaining charges is set to begin on November 30.
[Images courtesy of McLean County Jail, Police Handout]