With indictments, murder case against Mount Pleasant teen moves forward

Matthew Fischer, 16, stands for his bond hearing Jan. 19.

Matthew Fischer, the teenager who fatally stabbed a classmate earlier this year in Mount Pleasant, was indicted this week on charges of murder and possessing a knife in a violent crime.

The indictments were part of an expected procedure allowing the criminal case against the now 17-year-old Wando High School student to move forward.

Each charge in General Sessions court must go before a grand jury before it continues through the justice system. Jurors typically hear from only the investigator.

In Fischer’s case, a Mount Pleasant Police Department officer testified in front of the jurors, who returned the indictments Tuesday.

Fischer, who was 16 at the time, used a pocket knife to stab Luke Cavanaugh, 17, once in the stomach on Jan. 18 after the two set up a confrontation through dueling threats exchanged via Apple iMessage texts. In one of the messages, Fischer threatened to kill Cavanaugh, who then drove to the home.

Fischer’s girlfriend at first told authorities that the texts were sent through Snapchat, a messaging application in which texts disappear seconds after they’re viewed. That wasn’t true.

After stabbing Cavanaugh during a struggle, Fischer initially left the scene outside his girlfriend’s home in The Gates neighborhood of the Park West subdivision, but he later returned.

In interviews with detectives, Fischer acknowledged his role in the stabbing, but his attorneys, Andy Savage and Peter Brown, have said they would consider a self-defense argument under the state’s Protection of Persons and Property Act.

The murder indictment, though, alleges that Fischer had acted with “malice aforethought.”

The principal charge carries between 30 years and life in prison. The weapons count would tack on a mandatory five years behind bars if Fischer is convicted and sentenced to anything less than life without parole on the murder charge.

Fischer remains confined to his parents’ house in the Dunes West community while awaiting trial.

Reach Andrew Knapp at 937-5414 or twitter.com/offlede.