Editor’s note: A headline of this story misidentified the defendant who accepted the plea deal in the story. Dominique Fisher was the defendant who pleaded guilty. The headline was changed at 3:50 p.m. on Sept. 13, 2013.
“That was the worst day of my life,” Ericka Adim said, crying during her victim’s impact statement Friday. “I woke up to learn my only son is gone.”
Adim, of Chicago, in her emotional statement asked the court to give Dominique Fisher the maximum prison time for shooting her son Raphael Blackwell, 22, of Cedar Rapids, in the parking lot of Woody’s Show Club April 16, 2012.
“I can’t talk to him or hug him again,” said Adim, who clutched a photo of her son. “It’s the worst pain a mother will experience. Her whole world was turned upside down that day.”
Fisher, 23, of Cedar Rapids, originally charged with first-degree murder, pleaded guilty Friday to lesser charges of attempted murder, willful injury causing serious injury while armed with a dangerous weapon and a drug tax stamp violation in a different case. He was sentenced to 40 years on all charges.
Fisher must serve 17-1/2 years on the attempted murder charge and at least five years on the willful injury charge before being eligible for parole. He was also ordered to pay $150,000 in victim restitution to Blackwell’s estate. His other fines were suspended.
Sixth Judicial District Judge Stephen Jackson Jr. told Fisher he made choices that impacted many people and he’s “seeing the results of those consequences today.”
“You still have the opportunity to make choices in your life, Mr. Blackwell doesn’t,” Jackson said. “This is a tragedy in all respects.”
Fisher’s mother and his family who attended court were crying when Fisher admitted what he did that night.
Fisher said he fired a handgun at Blackwell and then pulled the trigger again as Blackwell was running away from him. He admitted that he had no justification for shooting him.
Assistant Linn County Attorney Jason Burns said he offered the plea agreement because some witnesses in case changed their testimony, and it could have impacted the verdict in trial. The trial was set to start Sept. 30.