Wednesday, February 28, 2001
Steamboat Springs A 26-year-old Steamboat Springs man said Wednesday he plans to enter an insanity plea to charges that he bought $4,000 worth of meat and seafood with food stamp credit that wasn't his.
Sascha Karl Fischer notified Routt County Judge James Garrecht of his plea intention during a hearing Wednesday. He also asked the court to lower his $5,000 bond so he can leave the jail.
"It would be my preference for you to let me go on my own recognizance with my promise to you that I will check into a mental institution to have a psychiatric evaluation," Fischer said to Garrecht.
At the request of Deputy District Attorney Charles Feldmann, the bond reduction was denied by Garrecht.
Fischer faces a felony charge of theft for a Jan. 31 shopping spree at local supermarkets.
Feldmann said Wednesday he plans to file six additional charges against Fischer: two counts each of offering a false instrument for recording, forgery of government documents and second-degree perjury.
Fischer, who moved to Steamboat Springs last summer, does not have a full-time job. He was receiving $106 a month in food assistance.
Fischer said he believes the month he has served in jail so far is sufficient punishment for allegedly using the inflated food-stamp debit card. On Jan. 30, a Routt County Human Services worker mistakenly credited Fischer's food stamp account with $10,600 instead of the usual $106.
"I'm getting quite the punishment for this," Fischer said. "I feel I have been punished enough. My food has been taken away. I no longer will get food stamps, and I'm in jail."
Fischer has told Steamboat Today he believed the extra $10,494 on the card was rightfully his. He argued Wednesday that he should not have to pay for the mistake the Human Services worker made.
"(Human) Services finds me mentally deficient, so they give me money, but I find it funny that they expect me to know when the money is not mine," he said.
Fischer has claimed he thought the money credited to his account was for "back pay." For at least six years, he has received a disability check and food stamps because of a head injury he suffered as a kickboxer.
The expensive cuts of meat and seafood Fischer allegedly bought were donated to Euzoa Bible Church. The church is giving the food away to needy families in Routt County.
Authorities found out Fischer allegedly bought the food from three area grocery stores after a state official contacted the county's Human Services Department Feb. 1.
Various steaks, ribs, roasts, lobster and other types of meat and seafood were confiscated from a freezer, refrigerator, ice chest and a plastic container at Fischer's apartment in the D Bar K Motel south of Steamboat Springs.
If Fischer officially enters an insanity plea during his arraignment March 6, he will undergo a psychiatric evaluation at a state mental hospital.
A German citizen, Fischer's future in the United States is now up in the air. The Immigration and Naturalization Service has placed a hold on him.