Jason Fish sentenced to maximum 67 years for murdering his wife in front of his son
Four-year-old Brody Fish will spend the rest of his life without his mother, Stephanie Rochelle Fish. Now he will spend at least the next 45 years without his father – the man who murdered her.
Isabella County Circuit Court Judge Mark Duthie sentenced Jason Fish, 34 of Weidman, to 45 to 67.5 years in prison Tuesday for second-degree murder of his wife Stephanie, 34 of Weidman. Jason also received an additional seven years for possession of a firearm by a felon.
“I’m convinced Mr. Fish deserves no mercy from the court,” Duthie said.
Jason was charged with homicide, open murder, possession of a firearm by a felon and two counts of felony firearms. He was found in Genesee County with Brody on Nov. 21, 2011, after an Amber Alert for Brody and Stephanie was released. After police interrogated Jason, the Isabella County Sheriff’s Department went to the Fish residence, located in the 900 block of North Rolland Road, where they found Stephanie’s body covered in gravel in the northwest bedroom’s crawlspace.
In April, Jason entered a no contest plea to second degree murder.
During the sentencing, Jason apologized for shooting Stephanie to a courtroom full of people in tears. Many wore shirts that read, “Justice for Stephanie.”
“I understand that I owe Stephanie’s family and my family a lifetime of apologies. I want my son Brody to know I never wanted something so terrible to happen,” Jason said. “I am at the mercy of the court and ready to face the consequences.”
After Jason and his attorney gave their statements, Isabella County Prosecutor Larry Burdick led Stephanie’s mother, Denise Gates, to the stand to express her anger toward Jason.
“You put her in a bathtub and shot her in front of your son. You’re a heartless coward,” Gates said. “I know prison justice … I hope they don’t kill you in prison because I want you to suffer.”
Burdick also read letters from Stephanie’s sisters, Joanna Ellick and Sarah Gates, who were not present during the sentencing.
“My mind is constantly consumed with my memory of Stephanie. Swollen, covered in bruises … Stephanie’s face at the funeral home,” Sarah’s letter read. “All I wanted was for her to wake up and say this wasn’t real. It was hard to leave her in that room.”
Burdick and Judge Duthie both said there seems to be an increase in domestic violence in the Isabella County area, with this case being the 10th domestic case within the last two years.
“One is too many, but 10 is devastating,” Burdick said.
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