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Not Guilty Pleas in O.C. Razor Blade Case

July 30, 2002|MAI TRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 21-year-old Mission Viejo woman accused of planting razor blades and other sharp objects at playgrounds in south Orange County pleaded not guilty Monday to the 18 counts filed against her.

Appearing in a blue jail jumpsuit with her hair tied back in a ponytail, Lori Elizabeth Fischer looked down throughout the hearing at South Justice Center in Laguna Niguel, where she has been charged with multiple counts of assault with a deadly weapon and attempted child abuse.

Fischer has undergone psychological testing, but her attorney has not said whether mental issues will be a part of her defense.

Fischer allegedly buried nearly 200 nails and razor blades at parks in Foothill Ranch, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and Mission Viejo from April until June, when she was arrested. The incidents prompted deputies, assisted by metal detectors, to do overnight surveillance and parents to complete their own inspections of playgrounds before allowing children on slides and swings.

Fischer was arrested at Vista del Lago Park in Mission Viejo after police watched her leave seven minutes after she entered the park. Police, who had combed the park two hours earlier, found nails there after she left.

Police reportedly found a diary that appeared to have chronicled her alleged crimes. In a jailhouse interview with The Times, Fischer described herself as an outcast and said she found solace in her walks at parks at night.

Fischer, who is being held in lieu of $500,000 bail, faces up to 12 years in prison if she is convicted. A pretrial hearing is scheduled for Sept. 9.

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