A St. Paul man killed his childhood friend Sunday after a night of drinking, according to a murder charge filed Tuesday.

Joseph E. Fischer, 37, told police that he “went out,” suggesting an alcohol-induced blackout, sometime before he allegedly killed Thomas J. Rivard about 8 p.m. Fischer is charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of second-degree murder without intent.

Fischer called police to his Hamline-Midway apartment in the 500 block of N. Aldine Street to report that he had stabbed another man and did not want the man to die, the charge said.

Police found Rivard, 35, of St. Paul Park, dead inside.

“Officers entered the apartment and saw the defendant sitting in a recliner in the living room,” the criminal complaint said. “He showed no emotion. A short time later, officers located a male, later identified as [Rivard]. He was lying on the floor, on his back. His head was underneath the leg of the rocker/recliner chair occupied by the defendant.”

Rivard died of two stab wounds — a 7-inch-deep wound to his left chest and an 8-inch-deep wound to his left back.

According to the complaint: Rivard’s mother told police that her son had gone to visit Fischer to comfort him over the recent death of his brother. She said she did not approve of the visit because Rivard had been sober, and she feared he would relapse around Fischer.

Fischer was arrested at the scene and allegedly told police in an interview that he and Rivard had consumed a lot of alcohol at a bar that night. They then drove to Wisconsin to buy more alcohol and drank at Fischer’s apartment. Rivard was on the phone with his mother “to go make excuses” about spending time with Fischer.

Fischer told police that Rivard’s parents were controlling, and that Rivard was “kind of pissing him off.” Fischer said he told Rivard to “chill out” and “enough.” Rivard continued to talk about Fischer’s deceased brother.

An investigator told Fischer that it looked as if he and Rivard had fought before he called 911.

“The defendant said that he ‘vaguely remembered that,’ ” the complaint said.

Fischer told the investigator that Rivard was “too nice” and had never hurt him.

“I think that I attacked somebody, was it [Rivard]?” Fischer allegedly asked the investigator.


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