Andrew Fiacco, middle, flanked by his defense lawyers, was found guilty of second-degree murder.

Andrew Fiacco, middle, flanked by his defense lawyers, was found guilty of second-degree murder.

File photo


Fiacco found guilty of second-degree murder in Macomb County

Sentencing will be March 21

By: Alex Szwarc | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published February 7, 2019

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MOUNT CLEMENS — After deliberating for more than 11 hours over two days, a jury found Andrew Fiacco guilty on all four counts.

The verdict, which was read around 4:30 p.m. Feb. 7, indicated Fiacco is guilty of the lesser offense of second-degree murder, felony firearm, disinterment and mutilation of dead bodies, and lying to a police officer in a violent crime investigation.

The 21-year-old Fiacco murdered his life-long friend Stephen McAfee, of Macomb Township, in March 2016 in the area of 34 Mile Road and Van Dyke Avenue.

“Like what was said in opening statements, this is a tragedy for two families, not just for one,” Fiacco’s defense attorney Kristina Joseph said. “We are disappointed with the verdict, but that’s life.”  

Unlike first-degree murder, which carries an automatic penalty of life in prison without parole, second-degree murder carries what likely will be a lesser sentence for Fiacco. 

“We do believe he used lawful self-defense and there was evidence of that,” Joseph said. 

Fiacco was accused in the death, mutilation and disappearance of McAfee.

As part of the verdict, bond was cancelled and Fiacco will be referred to Macomb County Circuit Court probation. 

“Second-degree means specifically intended to kill, without having planned to do it,” Macomb County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney William Cataldo said to members of the media following the verdict. “Premeditated murder is first-degree, and second-degree is you specifically intended, or you knew or should have known that death was the likely result of the actions you had taken.” 

The trial began on Jan. 15 in the courtroom of 16th Circuit Court Judge Jennifer Faunce.

Cataldo added that “voluntary manslaughter is based on that self-defense concept that indicated he (Fiacco) was attacked and therefore was an adequate provocation for him to respond in the way he responded. They chose second-degree which is reasonable under the circumstances.”   

According to Cataldo, the jury had the option of first-degree murder, second-degree murder and voluntary manslaughter.

Joseph said that the murder was not planned out and wasn’t something that Fiacco wanted to have happen. 

Fiacco, of Ray Township, entered the courtroom wearing a suit and tie with shackles around his legs. After the verdict was read, he was handcuffed and removed by two Macomb County sheriff’s deputies.

When asked why her client didn’t express much emotion during the trial, Joseph said, “I think that is a mannerism of autism. Autistic individuals can function in many different ways and it’s highly individualized. I certainly know he feels remorse for this.”  

Sentencing has been set for March 21 at 8:30 a.m. 

Check online at candgnews.com and upcoming editions for more details on the conclusion of the trial, including what was said in closing arguments. 

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