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Courthouse Steps Mavens   Missing/Unidentified   Adults Missing For Years   Anne Marie Fahey, 30; 1996; Delaware{desc: Thomas Capano responsible}

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Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 05:58 AM        


Fatal Attraction: Behind The Facade

Capano: Politically Powerful, Charismatic

CBS/48 Hours Mystery
July 23, 2002

(CBS) Thomas Capano had it all. A wealthy, charming lawyer, Capano moved in the highest circles of Delaware politics and had been encouraged by some to run for state attorney general.

But in 1996, his life came crashing down. In 1999, Capano was convicted of murdering 30-year-old Anne Marie Fahey and sentenced to death. 48 Hours Correspondent Erin Moriarty takes a close look at this tangled case.The oldest son of an Italian immigrant who had become a Delaware construction magnate, Capano had been an overachiever, a good student and an athlete.

After law school, he worked as a public defender and then as a prosecutor. Eventually he became chief counsel to Wilmington's mayor, as well as to the state's governor. "He had power; he had money; he had looks," says his brother-in-law, Lee Rummano.

Everything changed on June 28, 1996, when Anne Marie Fahey disappeared. Fahey, 30, was the scheduling secretary for the state's governor, Tom Carper. She was lively and well liked.

Anne Marie Fahey

Thomas Capano

"Annie would walk into a room, and it's like someone threw the light switch. And all the lights came on," her brother Brian remembers.

That night, while searching Fahey's house for clues, her sister Kathleen discovered notes and letters indicating that she had been having an affair with Capano.

In her diary's last entry, two months before she disappeared, Fahey had called Capano a "controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac."

The diary, as well as notes from Capano, pointed investigators in his direction. He admitted that he had taken Fahey to dinner in Philadelphia a few nights before she had disappeared.

But he insisted that he had dropped her off at her apartment afterward. The Fahey family asked Capano, who was then 46 years old, to talk to the police. He refused.

Investigators began digging into his past. They knew that in September 1995, Capano had left his wife after 26 years of marriage and four daughters.

But no one realized to what extent he had led a double life. According to Delaware state prosecutor Ferris Wharton, Capano had been involved with at least eight women during his marriage.

Among them was Susan Louth, a legal secretary. She recently moved to the Virgin Islands to escape the publicity surrounding the trial. Louth says Capano "needed attention."

At the same time Capano was seeing Fahey and Louth, he was involved with Debby MacIntyre, a 47-year-old private school administrator who had been having an affair with him for more than 15 years. MacIntyre's husband was a law partner in Capano's firm; she herself was a friend of Capano's wife.

But when Fahey first met Capano in early 1994, he seemed to her almost perfect. "I am madly in love with him," she wrote in her diary at the time.

They began an affair, even though she was deeply uncomfortable with the fact he was married. But in late 1995, she met another man, Michael Scanlon. She fell for Scanlon, who was single, and began trying to distance herself from Capano.

"She was actually trying in her way, I think, to let him down easy, to try to break it off in a gentle way," says Dr Neil Kaye, a psychiatrist who had been treating Fahey at the time.

Capano didn't take this well. He began making harassing phone calls and, according to Dr. Kaye, began showing up at her house and demanding that she return his gifts. Fahey was afraid that Capano might kill her, Dr. Kaye says.

In one email, she wrote: "Tommy, you scared me this weekend, starting with Friday and all the calls you placed. It really freaks me out when you call every half hour."

But Fahey continued to see Capano. On June 27, 1996, they had dinner. As they often did, they went to the Panorama Restaurant in Philadelphia. The waitress who served them said the couple didn't look happy. Two hours later, they left and returned to Capano's home. Fahey was never seen again.





Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:00 AM        


Fatal Attraction: Caught In A Trap

Years Of Work Slowly Yield Evidence

July 22, 2002

(CBS) From the beginning, federal prosecutor Colm Connolly and his team of investigators thought that Thomas Capano might have something to do with the disappearance of Anne Marie Fahey.

But they had a hard row to hoe. Her body had never been recovered; there were no witnesses and no weapon. So Connolly's team began looking for a paper trail.

The investigators discovered that two days after Fahey had disappeared, Capano had bought a new rug. With this information, they obtained a search warrant for Capano's rented house.

"Tom Capano opened the door in his bathrobe," Connolly remembers of the moment they arrived with the warrant. "And I think he was dismayed to say the least. He looked like he had the wind knocked out of him."

Inside Capano's house, they found tiny spots of blood - which later turned out to be Fahey's - right next to the new rug. This wasn't enough to arrest him, though. They dug up his back yard and found nothing. On a tip, they learned that evidence might be found at the Capano Construction Co. dumpsters. By the time they got there, the dumpsters had been taken to a Wilmington area dump. They spent days digging through this dump and found nothing.

Then investigators found another lead. A man named Joe Riley told them that in 1981 Capano had become obsessed with another woman, Linda Marandola, and had asked him to harass her.

At one point, Riley says, Capano had even talked about killing her. Although Capano had backed out, Connolly saw this as evidence that he might be capable of murder.

But this still wasn't enough. So Connolly began focusing on Capano's inner circle, particularly his brothers. Investigators knew that one brother, Gerry, had been with him the day after Fahey had disappeared. But he refused to testify against his brother out of loyalty.

Then Gerry Capano was arrested for possession of cocaine and illegal guns. Facing a long prison term, he decided to talk. He told police that he had helped his brother take a large cooler containing Fahey's body to his vacation home in nearby New Jersey.

They had taken Gerry Capono's 25-foot fishing boat 60 miles off the Atlantic coast, to a spot known for sharks. There they dumped overboard Fahey's body, which had been crammed into the cooler.

When the cooler wouldn't sink, Gerry Capano shot holes in it, he told police. But the cooler still didn't sink, and so Tom Capano wrapped Fahey's body in chains and let it drop into the ocean. They let the cooler itself drift away.

Investigators finally had enough to arrest Tom Capano. On Nov. 12, 1997, Capano was arrested and charged with murder.

Then two days after Capano was arrested, fisherman Ken Chubb turned the cooler over to the FBI. He had found it July 4, 1996, while fishing 8 miles off the Delaware coast.

Chubb had taken it home and repaired the holes. When a friend saw the news about Capano's arrest, he told Chubb that the cooler might be a key piece of evidence. He clls the discovery of the cooler "a divine intervention."

Using the bar code still on the cooler, police showed that it had been bought by Capano. The prosecutors now had Fahey's blood at Capano's house, his brother's confession and the cooler.

On top of that, Capano's longtime mistress, Debby MacIntyre, admitted that a few weeks before the crime, she had bought, at Capano's request, a .22 caliber pistol, which she then gave to Capano. Police found the receipt.

"This was something he had thought of for months and months," says Connolly. "This was not a one-night, panicky incident. This was a planned murder."

In an attempt to stop MacIntyre from testifying, Tom Capano gave detailed diagrams of her home to another inmate. Prosecutor Wharton says that Capano wanted to scare her. Later, he tried unsuccessfully to hire a hit man to kill her.

At the trial beginning Oct. 26, 1998, Tom Capano tried a risky defense. Against his lawyers' advice, he testified himself, for eight days. He told the jury that although he had disposed of Fahey's body, he had not killed her.

He said that MacIntyre had discovered he and Fahey together, and had tried to commit suicide. In the struggle, Fahey had accidentally been shot and killed.

But the jury wasn't persuaded. Connolly says that the key to the trial was the cooler. "Ferris and I walked it out as if we were walking a coffin out of church," Connolly remembers.

"We laid it in front of the jury," he says. "I think they were shell shocked. I just think it really drove home the impact that somebody had been stuffed unceremoniously into a fish cooler."

In January 1999, the trial ended. After three days of deliberating, the jury convicted Tom Capano of first-degree murder. The jury voted 10-2 for the death penalty. A judge agreed, and Capano is now on death row, awaiting lethal injection.

The Faheys have filed a civil suit against Tom Capano. And Capano has filed a suit against Debbie McIntyre saying if he is responsible for Anne Marie Fahey's death, then so is McIntyre.

July 2002 Update:

Capano's appeal to the United States Supreme Court was denied. But his new attorney says there are still other avenues to challenge Capano's conviction and sentence.

In the meantime, the man who once had everthing now spends 23 hours a day alone in a cell on death row.

Prosecutor Colm Connolly, who had spent three years on the case, is now the Delaware US Attorney.

The Fahey family filed a civil suit against Tom Capano and were awarded an undisclosed settlement. Capano filed a suit of his own against Debbie MacIntrye, saying if he's responsible for Anne Marie's death, so is MacIntyre. He later dropped the suit.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:03 AM        


10 Years Later: Remembering Anne Marie Fahey

by Jim Osman

Jun 27, 2006

PHILADELPHIA (CBS 3) ― It is a murder case that captured national attention and put an unwelcome spotlight on the state of Delaware. Ten years ago Tuesday, Anne Marie Fahey, who was an aide to a prominent politician, disappeared.

Investigative Reporter Jim Osman who covered the story when it first broke, conducted exclusive interviews as we look back and remember Anne Marie Fahey's life.

30-year old Anne Marie Fahey, a scheduling secretary to Delaware's Governor, had no children of her own but certainly wanted a family.

"She loved kids, I don't think she could have gone by a kid without hugging them," said family friend, Kevin Freel.

At age 40 today, Fahey could have been a mother or married or even working with children.

However, Thomas Capano took all of that away.

"I can feel it bubbling up inside me I can feel it coming back, the emotion," explained Freel.

Anne Marie Fahey was last seen at a Philadelphia restaurant on June 27, 1996 with the high powered attorney Capano.

Soon after, Freel put up yellow ribbons at his Wilmington bar as a sign of hope.

"The hope that someday she'll come back," said Freel at the time.

Fahey never did and Freel, who since closed his pub and moved to Chicago, says Anne's absence is never far from mind.

"Annie would walk in the room and light the room up, she was vivacious and she had an amazing personality and an infectious laugh," explained Freel.

Capano snuffed the laugh and the life out of Fahey after she tried to end a relationship with him.

"There was a presence of evil in the courtroom with him," said Judge William Swain Lee.

Capano ended up in front of Judge William Swain Lee who at the time couldn't discuss the case.

"The prosecutors get upset when I say this but I have grave doubts as to the outcome of the case had Capano not attempted to manipulate the system on his behalf," said Judge Lee.

Capano tried to convince the jury he didn't kill Fahey but admitted he helped someone else stuff her body in a fishing cooler and dump it off the Jersey coast.

"He was sure he was going to charm the jury and he never did," said Judge Lee.

Anne Marie Fahey saw through his charm but told only her diary of Capano by writing "What a controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac."

Fahey's demise in the depths of the sea, her body never retrieved, leaves intense anguish for the people who loved her because ten years later, they know they didn't have a proper goodbye.

"It's something that will never go away, you keep it down for awhile but it just never goes away," said Freel.

As for the man put away for this crime, Tom Capano, what does he have to say for himself.

CBS 3 wrote asking if Capano still maintains someone else killed Anne Marie Fahey. In a hand written letter he sent from prison, Capano wrote: He wouldn't answer questions because his case is on appeal.

Tom Capano was originally sentenced to death, however, a court overturned that earlier this year and gave him life in prison

Capano is now trying to have his entire conviction thrown out.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:12 AM        




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:17 AM        


Anne Marie Fahey

She battled demons, including childhood pain, depression and an affair

Staff reporters


Anne Marie Fahey came a long way from an excruciating childhood.

The youngest of the six Fahey children, she was 9 when her mother died. The trauma triggered a slide by Fahey's father, a salesman, into alcoholism. He became abusive and nasty and the family fragmented. Anne Marie moved out of the home to stay with friends while she was a junior at Brandywine High School.

By June 1996, she was fluent in Spanish and pondered a career in teaching or international relations, perhaps overseas. She worked for Gov. Carper as his scheduling secretary, and spoke often with White House officials while setting up meetings between her boss and President Clinton.

But she hadn't conquered all her demons.

She suffered from depression, and had been seeing therapists since her early 20s. She had periods where she pondered suicide.

Never satisfied with her body -- she thought her breasts were too big and her legs too thick -- she went on starvation diets and compulsively gobbled laxatives. At 5 feet, 10 inches tall, she weighed about 125 pounds -- and frequently confided to her diary that she wanted to lose five more pounds. She eventually was diagnosed with the eating disorders anorexia nervosa and bulimia.

Still, Fahey put on a happy face for the world. She loved cracking jokes, and her laughter could light up a room.

"I'd hear that voice on a Friday night, and I'd say, 'Annie's here,' " recalled her friend Kevin Freel, owner of O'Friel's Irish Pub in Wilmington.

She spent weekends at the New Jersey shore with a loyal circle of friends, who kidded her about being a neat freak. And she loved nothing better than spoiling her nieces and nephews.

Fahey also had begun a promising relationship with MBNA community affairs chief Michael R. Scanlan. Though they hadn't yet become intimate, she had visited his family in Rhode Island and told friends he was "the one.''

Fahey met Scanlan through Carper, who hired her soon after she graduated from Wesley College in 1991, when he was in the U.S. House of Representatives.

He brought her back to Wilmington in 1993 when he was elected Delaware's governor.

Carper, who loves playing matchmaker for friends and colleagues, thought Fahey and Scanlan, an earnest young man, would make a good fit. He set them up on a blind date, and the romance took off.

But Fahey never told Scanlan about her affair with a married attorney with four daughters named Thomas J. Capano.

She met Capano in 1993, and wrote in her diary that she fell in love with him on her birthday in January 1994. She affectionately referred to him as "Tomas.''

But she also felt guilty about dating Capano, who was still living with his wife and children. By April 1994, he told her she'd be better off with an unmarried man.

Her diary doesn't mention Capano again for 10 months. In the interim she dated a co-worker of her brother Robert's and traveled in Ireland.

In February 1995, the affair resumed more intensely than ever. Fahey wrote in her diary that she was "madly in love'' with Capano. "Tommy is kind, caring, responsive, loving, has a beautiful heart, extremely handsome and was kind and gentle to me.''

The millionaire wined and dined Fahey in expensive restaurants in Philadelphia, where friends and family wouldn't see them. Fahey kept the relationship from all but her closest friends.

In September 1995 she met Scanlan, a devout Catholic who took her to see the pope on one of their first dates. She feared he would stop seeing her if he learned about Capano.

But as Capano, who had recently left his wife, kept pursuing her, Fahey's affection for him turned to wariness. Friends testified during the trial that she complained of how he began trying to control her life.

While Capano acknowledged a rough point in their relationship early in 1996, he said he was content to be a fatherly figure who was helping her battle anorexia.

She had a different view in her April 7 diary entry. "I have finally brought closure to Tom Capano. What a controlling, manipulative, insecure, jealous maniac.''

But she couldn't break away. She exchanged chatty e-mails at work with Capano, and continued going to dinner.

Their last meal was June 27, 1996, at the upscale Ristorante Panorama in Philadelphia. Later that night, Fahey was killed at Capano's home. The next day, Capano and his brother Gerard dumped her body in the Atlantic.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:20 AM        


Thomas J. Capano

Wealthy lawyer falls from status as power broker during probe

Staff reporters


Thomas J. Capano used to strut around like he owned Wilmington.

In a sense, he did.

The wealthy attorney, a familiar figure in the city's political, social and financial circles, used to manage the city government as top aide to Mayor Daniel S. Frawley. Police, fire and legal officials all reported directly to him. He also played an integral role in getting Frawley elected in 1984 and 1988.

Capano lived with his wife, Kay, a nurse practitioner, and their four daughters in a sprawling home in Wilmington's posh Highlands neighborhood.

Though Capano's three younger brothers had been in legal trouble, some highly publicized, Thomas had a clean slate and was considered the family's "white knight.''

The oldest son of custom home builder Louis J. Capano was active in working-class St. Anthony's Catholic Church, yet golfed at the prestigious Wilmington Country Club. His athletic, angular build and neatly trimmed, gray-flecked beard gave him a distinguished air. Possessed of a keen mind and engaging manner, he was both respected and admired.

From age 13, he worked for his dad. "I shoveled. I dug a lot of dirt. I moved a lot of concrete. I moved a lot of lumber,'' Capano testified last month during his murder trial, trying to dispel the notion he was a "spoiled rich kid.''

He was class valedictorian and a football star at Archmere Academy, an all-boys Catholic school in Claymont. In 1974, his father wept with joy when Thomas graduated from Boston College Law School.

Capano returned to Wilmington and served as a public defender and deputy attorney general before joining Morris James Hitchens & Williams, handling commercial real estate deals and personal injury cases.

In 1984 he left Morris James to serve as Wilmington city solicitor under Frawley, his old rugby buddy. Three years later Capano became Frawley's top aide.

"Everybody knew Tommy was in charge," former City Commerce Director J. Brian Murphy said. "He ran the city."

Though Capano is a Democrat, in 1990, then-governor Michael N. Castle, a Republican, tapped him to serve as his legal counsel. "He did the job very well," said Castle, now Delaware's lone congressman.

Two years later, Capano joined the Wilmington office of Saul Ewing Remick & Saul, a prominent Philadelphia firm, where he specialized in public finance. He eventually became managing partner of the Wilmington office.

In 1993, he became involved with Anne Marie Fahey, Gov. Carper's scheduling secretary. He also continued an affair with Deborah A. MacIntyre, ex-wife of a former colleague, that dated to 1981.

In the fall of 1995, he separated from his wife, only to learn that Fahey had found a new boyfriend.

After Fahey vanished on June 27, 1996, and authorities identified him as the prime suspect, Capano's reputation crumbled.

He now admits disposing of her body, but insists MacIntyre accidentally killed Fahey that night. For more than two years, Capano lied to family, friends and his own attorneys and said he had nothing to do with her disappearance.

He soon became a pariah as damaging details about his stormy affair with Fahey and the investigation were reported in the media.

In April 1997, he was forced to resign from Saul Ewing. His law license was suspended a month after police arrested him in November 1997. Since then he has been in solitary confinement at Gander Hill prison in Wilmington. His bid for release on bail was denied.

In jail, Capano has become emaciated. His cheeks are sunken, his skin is pale and his face is haggard. He says his mind has deteriorated in isolation. A psychiatrist treats him for depression, and he gets daily doses of anti-anxiety drugs and tranquilizers.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:22 AM        


Deborah A. MacIntyre

The once-private woman sees her personal life

Staff reporters


A year ago, Deborah A. MacIntyre was director of extended day care at Tatnall School in Greenville, unknown outside her family and circle of friends.

Since then, the reserved 48-year-old divorcee has become a familiar face to anyone who followed the murder trial of Thomas J. Capano, with whom she carried on a 17-year sexual and romantic relationship.

With Sunday's verdict, she hopes to return to obscurity.

"Today is the first day of the rest of my exciting life with my two children," she told reporters, who swarmed around her as she left the Daniel L. Herrmann Courthouse. "We are looking forward to a very exciting, positive new life. We are staying in Wilmington. We are very happy staying here. I believe the Wilmington community has been 100 percent behind me. I feel very happy and welcome and comfortable here."

Trial testimony revealed graphic details about the couple's secret sex life -- including her acknowledgement that she had sexual encounters with two men, including Delaware's now-suspended chief deputy attorney general, Keith R. Brady, while Capano watched.

And last month, Capano accused MacIntyre of accidentally firing the shot that killed Anne Marie Fahey, a charge MacIntyre vehemently denied.

She said she was not surprised when Capano accused her of pulling the trigger, considering that he had tried to hire fellow Gander Hill prison inmates to kill her and vandalize her home.

"This was right in line with the others. I pretty much put this in the same category."

She said it was "very frustrating and very hurtful" to be falsely accused, but added, "I was confident that the jury and the justice system would do the right thing."

Those who know MacIntyre say she is friendly and witty but private, almost aloof, and has only a few close friends. Since the trial, she has become more reclusive and rarely is seen around town.

Her father was William R. MacIntyre, general manager of the Wilmington-based Joseph C. Bancroft & Sons textile firm. Her grandfather was president.

After graduating from Tatnall, MacIntyre attended Mount Vernon College in Washington, D.C., and the University of Delaware.

In 1972, she married her high school sweetheart, lawyer David H. Williams. They had two children: Abigail, 19, and Michael, 16.

MacIntyre began a secret affair in 1981 with Capano, a colleague of her husband's. The Williamses divorced in 1984, and MacIntyre took a part-time job at her alma mater. By 1998, she became extended day-care director.

MacIntyre lost her job at Tatnall in February, after prosecutors revealed she bought the gun believed to have killed Fahey on June 27, 1996. MacIntyre testified she bought the gun for Capano on May 13, 1996, and never saw it again.

She said it was a year ago that she realized he probably was guilty. "I equated it to a volcano erupting in my brain. I am not a psychologist -- I don't know how the mind and body work. But something went off within me. The light bulb went off."

Now, she said, "I do not love Tom Capano at all. É I have a lot of emotional healing to do. É Dealing with that now will take some time."

She would not comment on whether Capano should be executed. "That is up to the jury to decide."




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:26 AM        


For loved ones, a time to remember, not celebrate

and Stephen Sobek
Staff reporters


From left, Mark Fahey, Kathleen Fahey-Hosey, Brian Fahey, Robert Fahey and Kevin Fahey hold a news conference at the Chase building.

WILMINGTON -- The family of Anne Marie Fahey will not be celebrating the murder conviction of Thomas Capano.

Fahey's sister Kathleen Fahey-Hosey said the family will spend time remembering Anne Marie, who "had a beautiful personality that would light up a room, [and] was a heck of a hockey player."

"She wishes she were here," Brian Fahey said of his dead sister, after the guilty verdict was announced Sunday morning. "She'd want to come down and dance with us."

Family and friends -- many wearing "Friends of Anne Marie Fahey" pins with yellow ribbons -- hugged, slapped each other on the back and applauded outside the courtroom. Fahey-Hosey and Anne Marie's best friend, Kim Horstmann Lynch, who also testified about Anne Marie's affair with Capano, sobbed quietly.

When members of the Fahey family left the courtroom, they smiled and bowed their heads as a crowd of about 100 spectators applauded and cheered.

Childhood friend Jennifer Houghton, who also testified about Anne Marie's fear of Capano, said she traveled from Boston to be at the courthouse when the jury announced its decision.

"It's a just verdict," Houghton said, "but it doesn't bring Anne Marie back."

After spending about 45 minutes in private with their attorney, the Fahey family -- which still has a civil suit pending against Capano, his brothers and their companies -- spoke to the media in the Chase Manhattan Bank Delaware building.

They thanked the investigators and prosecuting attorneys for their hard work, and thanked the public for its support.

"It's been about 934 days since Anne Marie took her last breath at the hand of Tom Capano," Anne Marie's brother Robert Fahey said. "Since then É we've had one goal, and that was to find the truth. We never had any doubt that God and justice were on our side."

The most important detail in the case was the cooler Capano used to bury Anne Marie Fahey's body at sea, Robert Fahey said: "Finding that cooler was a gift from God.

"We're average Christians, God-fearing people. I've never said this before. I think God made that happen," he said. "It was not a fluke and it was not luck."

The case was also helped by Capano taking the stand despite his attorney's advice, family members said. In addition to its role in the conviction, Capano's testimony helped the family learn more about what happened to Anne Marie, Fahey-Hosey said.

"[On the stand], his true personality became very clear -- the manipulation, the control," she said. "I am relieved, but I am numb. We learned that Anne Marie was shot, but we'll never actually know what happened."

In the three years since Anne Marie was killed, family members said, they have become closer and learned more about each other.

"I never knew my brother Robert had so many bad ties," Fahey-Hosey joked. "It has brought us closer together. But we were a close family before."

But it was difficult to continue the routine of daily life and to explain the trial to children in the family, Fahey-Hosey said.

"They ask me, 'Why was Auntie Annie in the cooler?' That has been very hard," she said. "I tell my children every night that Auntie Annie loves them, and I give them a kiss."

Family members would not say Sunday whether they think Capano should receive the death sentence or life in prison.

"In some ways, life in prison can be a crueler sentence than death," Robert Fahey said. "[His family] will see him, but they'll see him behind bars in an orange jumpsuit."

The family has not made new plans for a memorial to Anne Marie, but they will continue to raise money for charities she supported, Fahey-Hosey said.

"This thing is done, but now we have to figure out how to go on with our lives," she said. "We all miss Anne Marie, and she's not coming back."




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:28 AM        


Capanos quietly, grimly deal with guilty verdict

Staff reporters


Thomas Capano's mother, Marguerite Capano, is wheeled out of the courthouse Sunday by relative Loretta Farkas.

Alex Capano pressed her hands to the sides of her head, as though to block the sound of the word:


Emerging from the courtroom where her father had just been convicted of first-degree murder Sunday morning, the teen-ager and some family members formed a tearful circle of grief, arms around one another's shoulders.

When the courtroom's double doors burst open, onlookers poured into the hallway, leaving Thomas J. Capano's family huddled together in the emptying room.

Marguerite Capano, Thomas' mother, wept quietly, embracing one granddaughter after another.

"It's just one of those things you're never ready for," said Phyllis Hines, Capano's paralegal. She said her client simply exhaled slowly upon hearing the verdict. "It was a shock to him."

A steely-eyed Capano cousin, Loretta Farkas, was silent as she guided Marguerite Capano's wheelchair toward the courthouse elevator, straight-arming anyone who came too close.

Earlier in the morning, as she made her way through a sea of reporters to the courthouse's front door, Marguerite Capano said, "My son is innocent."

After the verdict, none of the family members would speak to the media, except to order them out of the way of Marguerite Capano's wheelchair.

Absent from the courtroom were the two brothers whose testimony helped convict Thomas Capano. At least one of them is expected to plead with the jury to spare his brother's life.

"Tom is his brother," said lawyer Katie Recker, who represents Louis Capano. "He loves his brother; nothing will change that. All he wants to do now is pray for mercy." Louis, a developer, testified he unwittingly helped Thomas dispose of a blood-stained love seat by emptying the trash bin at one of his construction sites ahead of schedule.

"He'll be asking the jury for mercy on his brother," she said.

She said Louis would not comment on the verdict or the upcoming penalty phase of the trial.

"He needs time right now to grieve and to prepare," she said.

Gerard Capano, who testified that he helped Thomas dispose of a body in the Atlantic Ocean, said through his lawyer that he would not comment. Edmund D. Lyons Jr. didn't know whether Gerard would testify during the penalty phase of the trial, which begins Wednesday.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:30 AM        


Lead prosecutor breaks silence, reveals unearthing clues

Staff reporters


State prosecuter Ferris W. Wharton (left) and federal prosecuter Colm. F. Connoly answer questions Sunday after the verdict.

Colm F. Connolly's grueling, 30-month journey ended in triumph.

The 34-year-old federal prosecutor spearheaded the team of local and federal investigators that doggedly pursued the first-degree murder case against Thomas J. Capano.

The prosecutor had been vilified by Capano, a fellow Archmere Academy alumnus, as a "Nazi" and "weasel." During cross-examination, Capano called him a "heartless, soulless disgrace of a human being."

Connolly, who ignored the insults, would not comment publicly until Sunday.

During an interview Sunday with The News Journal, Connolly shared credit with state prosecutor Ferris W. Wharton, who tried the case with him, and three key investigators: Wilmington police Detective Robert E. Donovan, FBI agent Eric J. Alpert and Internal Revenue Service agent Ronald J. Poplos.

"It was leadership by consensus," Connolly stressed.

He also revealed previously undisclosed turning points in the case, which he joined July 8, 1996 -- 11 days after Fahey vanished.

By then, authorities suspected Capano. He was the last person seen with Fahey and details of their rocky affair had emerged.

But not until July 26, when he and Donovan were reviewing Capano's Visa bills, did the prosecutor discover what he considered a significant clue.

During the credit card review, Connolly and Donovan came across a $308.99 charge on June 29 from Wallpaper Warehouse. Capano had recently separated from his wife and was living in a $2,000-a-month home at 2302 Grant Ave.

"I asked [Donovan], 'Why is a guy living in a rental property buying wallpaper?' " he said.

They called telephone information. The number for Wallpaper Warehouse was answered by Air Base Carpet Mart on U.S. 13.

The prosecutor learned Capano bought an oriental rug June 29. Donovan interviewed Capano's maid, Ruth Boylan, who said she noticed Capano replaced a carpet and two love seats between her June and July visits.

On July 31, the FBI raided Capano's house and found spots of blood on the wall in the den, near where the rug had been.

The blood matched a sample Fahey donated to the Blood Bank of Delaware in 1996.

Investigators knew they were on the right track.

Capano wasn't arrested until Nov. 12, 1997, when his brother Gerard told prosecutors about helping him dump a body at sea.

Connolly still won't say why investigators focused on Gerard, except that they knew he sold a boat without an anchor in July 1996 and their strategy was to focus on Capano's "inner circle."

But Connolly revealed how they discovered Capano mistress Deborah A. MacIntyre bought him a gun. A few days before the arrest, Capano's brother, Louis, a Greenville developer, told Connolly that Thomas told him he had thrown away an unfired gun with Fahey's belongings.

Authorities had checked gun receipts and knew Capano didn't buy one. "So we decided to see if any of his mistresses had purchased any weapons," Connolly said.

Checks revealed that MacIntyre had bought a .22-caliber Beretta handgun on May 13, 1996 -- six weeks before Fahey died.

MacIntyre was interviewed on Jan. 28, 1998, and said she discarded the gun. But frightened by the questions, she confessed she had bought the gun for Capano. "We all thought, 'This might be a murder weapon.'




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:33 AM        


Appeal could go all the way to U.S. Supreme Court

Staff reporters


Thomas J. Capano will appeal his first-degree murder conviction, his defense team said Sunday.

"There are numerous issues, as there are in any trial of this length," said Charles M. Oberly III, the former state attorney general and one of four Capano lawyers. "Some of them may have merit."

If he is sentenced to life in prison later this year by Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee, Capano then will have 30 days to file an appeal with the Delaware Supreme Court.

If he is sentenced to death, the appeal is automatic.

If the state court rejects his appeal, he could file it with the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia. Eventually, that appeal could be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Appellate court judges seldom review the guilt or innocence of a defendant. They would consider only whether Capano received a fair trial.

To get his conviction overturned, Capano would have to show the appellate court that an error occurred that had an impact on his right to a fair trial.

Some types of errors, for instance a faulty instruction by Lee on the meaning of "reasonable doubt," would be considered so prejudicial that they would result in an automatic reversal.

But such cases are rare, said Judith L. Ritter, a Widener University law professor.

In most cases, an appellate court would first determine whether an error occurred, then consider whether the error had a significant impact on the trial's outcome.

A common courthouse saying is that defendants are not guaranteed a perfect trial, only a fair one.

No one can say with certainty what appeals Capano will file; these are some of the issues he and his attorneys raised during his trial:

* Publicity: Defense attorneys complained that numerous stories in The News Journal, other regional newspapers and on television and radio painted such a negative picture of Capano that it was impossible for him to get an impartial jury. Lee did ask the prospective jurors under oath if they could judge Capano fairly, despite what they may have read or heard. Only those who said they could were seated on the jury.

* Federal involvement: Capano and his attorneys have complained that the FBI, the U.S. attorney's office and a federal grand jury had no jurisdiction to enter the case because Fahey's death was not an interstate crime -- it occurred in Delaware. But prosecutors have argued that Capano and Fahey were last seen together in Philadelphia, and federal agents were investigating whether she was forced into or out of Delaware, which would be an interstate kidnapping.

* Jury selection: Capano's attorneys complained that Delaware's refusal to pay his jurors' lost wages skewed his jury. People who are self-employed or do not work for companies that pay for unlimited jury service -- some of whom the defense would have wanted on the jury -- were automatically eliminated. Lee ruled that he was unauthorized to pay anyone more than the $20 a day all jurors receive.

* Attorney incompetence: Capano would have to file such an appeal on his own or with the help of a new lawyer. He might argue that his four attorneys -- Joseph S. Oteri, Eugene J. Maurer Jr., Charles M. Oberly III and John F. O'Donnell -- provided inadequate counsel. This is a common appeal defendants file after conviction, and Capano did threaten to fire his attorneys at one point, saying he disagreed with their strategy. But his own words would hinder this avenue of appeal. When he decided to retain his lawyers, Lee asked if he was satisfied with their representation. "I certainly am," he replied.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 06:58 AM        


Crowds throughout Delaware cheer

Dennis Thompson,
James Merriweather
and Molly Murray
Staff reporters


Friends of Anne Marie Fahey, including Sheila Albanese (left, in white shirt) and Debby Rigby (foreground) cheer outside the Wilmington courthouse as members of the prosecution team walk outside after the guilty verdict.

WILMINGTON -- Cheers of "Yeah, baby!" and "Guilty!" erupted from hundreds gathered outside the Daniel L. Herrmann Courthouse downtown on word Sunday that Thomas J. Capano had been convicted of murdering Anne Marie Fahey.

"That's what we wanted to hear!" shouted out Wilmington resident Pat Burk. "Yeah, that's it!"

The crowd later applauded at the appearance of Judge William Swain Lee, the prosecution team and the Fahey family.

Cheers also broke out at other locations around New Castle County as word spread.

"Yay!" said Ralph Johns, 33, of Newark upon hearing the news at Einstein Brothers Bagels in Greenville. "It was obvious."

"Yes!" said Regina Czajkowski of Hockessin, pumping her fist. "He hung himself," she added. Her husband, Chuck, nodded in agreement.

Andy Milligan of Wilmington, getting coffee at the Powder Mill Square shopping center, said the verdict was announced at his church that morning. "I was pleased," he said.

"I don't know what other verdict it could have been," said Larry Brainard, 44, of Stanton, standing outside the courthouse.

Gina and Ken Czajkowski felt the verdict was such an important moment, they brought their two children to Rodney Square to see it. Both parents said they felt there was an important lesson in the result -- that even the powerful and privileged can not get away with wrongdoing. J. Dallas Winslow, an attorney and state senator who was part of the throng outside the courtroom, said Capano has not told the truth of what happened to Anne Marie Fahey yet, and perhaps now he will come clean and give the Fahey family the closure they need.

"It was the direct opposite of the O.J. Simpson case in California," he said.

Julie Pogonyi of Wilmington, standing across the street from the courthouse watching the live TV coverage on a small hand-held television, was one of the few in the crowd who didn't laud the result. She said she didn't know if justice was done, adding there appeared to be some reasonable doubt. "I wasn't there, so I don't know," she said.

Her husband, Andrew, holding their dog Theo on a leash, disagreed. "Justice was done," he said.

At O'Friel's Irish Pub, Kevin Freel opened the doors shortly after the 10 a.m. verdict at the request of Robert Fahey, Anne Marie's brother. By 11 a.m., a dozen of Fahey's family and friends gathered to toast the end of a long ordeal.

"[The verdict] was solemn," said Freel, who wore a "Friends of Anne Marie" pin. "And yet it was an emotional release. We've been waiting for this for two and a half years. I've imagined this headline -- guilty -- for two and a half years. I've prayed for it. Yet Anne Marie is not coming back. It is a bittersweet moment."

"The jury said it all," said Bea Freel. "Today is not a celebration, though we got what we wanted."

Fahey family and friends were brief in their comments. "We're pleased, very pleased," said John Messick. His daughter, Kathleen, 12, thought it was appropriate that the weather Sunday was so nice, the day Anne Marie got justice. "That is why it is so nice," she said.

Outside the courthouse, Grant Morrison Sr., 32, of Wilmington said the verdict was "justice at its best."

Morrison said he had feared that no jury would convict such a rich and powerful man. "I thought he might walk," he said. It looked like Capano was going to twist the proceedings with his story that his other mistress, Deborah MacIntyre, had accidentally killed Fahey, Morrison said. "Suddenly everyone is guilty and he is innocent? That was a bunch of bull to me," he said.

Several people would not comment, saying they didn't want to offend the family.

Andrew Clemmer, 21, of Wilmington said he has seen people rushing for copies of the newspaper every morning to find out the latest on the trial and was pleased with the verdict.

"I think the trial might be remembered as one that restored some people's faith in the court system," he said.

Alesia Hopkins of Bridgeville and Sonya Williams of Millsboro, shopping at the Acme in Dover, both said Capano should have been acquitted for lack of substantial evidence.

"No weapon, no body -- where's the evidence?" asked Hopkins, 31. She and Williams are members of the Delaware National Guard's 261st Signal Battalion who were in Dover for a round of weekend training.

"I just don't think they had enough evidence for a conviction," Hopkins said.

Williams, 30, agreed, saying the guilty verdict did not speak well of the criminal justice system.

"If that's the case, they might use his case for another person who might be in the same situation, and that's not right," Williams said.

Ken Ayers of Frederica, however, said guilty was the only conclusion.

"I think he should die, I honestly do. A life for a life," said Ayres, 56.

Milford banker John Steele, 33, said he had followed the case closely and had no doubt about Capano's guilt, but he would not offer an opinion on an appropriate sentence.

"I favor the death penalty," he said, "but I don't know yet" if it's justified in Capano's case.

Harold Truxon, 67, of Ellendale, a community activist and a retired restaurant owner, said he was pleased Capano's wealth and power didn't sway the jury. "Money didn't count in this case," he said.

Ron Dennis, 46, of Lincoln, a gas-station attendant who is studying for a degree in business administration, said he was glad the trial was finally over.

"It's just been going on so long," he said.

Lee DiGiacomo, 56, of Lewes and Wilmington, had followed the trial closely and had discussed it every day with two other women she walked with. On Sunday morning, she stayed by her television to find out the verdict.

The most striking thing following the verdict was Capano's reaction, said DiGiacomo, a homemaker:

"He had no emotion whatsoever to what had happened."




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 07:04 AM        


Life or death?

Capano shows no emotion as foreman pronounces him guilty as charged

Staff reporters


Anne Marie Fahey's sister, Kathleen Fahey-Hosey, hugs a friend after the family's news conference Sunday.

Judge William Swain Lee asked for the verdict.

The foreman, a General Motors pipe fitter, stared hard at Thomas J. Capano.

"Guilty as charged," the foreman said in a strong, solemn voice.

Capano's mother and sister embraced, sobbing. His daughters wept. Across the aisle in the hush of Courtroom 302, Anne Marie Fahey's siblings did the same.

Sitting at the defense table, flanked by his four defense attorneys and backed by six armed guards, Capano stared straight ahead, showing no emotion.

Delaware's most celebrated murder trial in decades reached its climax at 10:01 a.m. Sunday with Capano branded a murderer for killing Fahey, his former mistress, on June 27, 1996, and dumping her body at sea the next day.

Capano, 49, a wealthy and once-powerful Wilmington attorney, will now receive a sentence of death or life in prison. The trial's penalty phase, which begins Wednesday, is expected to take two weeks.

About 150 people packed the third-floor courtroom's wooden pews to hear the verdict, while dozens more lined the winding marble steps leading to its door. Outside, nearly 300 reporters, photographers and spectators gathered on the steps of the Daniel L. Herrmann Courthouse.

The crowd's sentiment was evident as cheers erupted when a man with a radio to his ear yelled, "Guilty."

From the moment the verdict was announced, prosecutors Colm F. Connolly and Ferris W. Wharton accepted numerous congratulations for their victory. They had contended during the 12-week trial that Capano was a cold-blooded killer who had plotted the slaying of Gov. Carper's scheduling secretary for months.

As they emerged from the courthouse, Connolly and Wharton were applauded by the crowd. But Connolly said it was not a day for celebration.

"Tom Capano put a lot of people through a lot of distress, suffering and pain," the 34-year-old assistant U.S. attorney said. "My heart goes out to the Fahey family...While we have a just result and [Capano] will someday pay a price for his conduct, we also don't have Anne Marie Fahey here. That's a loss the Fahey family and all of Anne Marie's friends will never be fully compensated for."

Capano's disappointed attorneys said that while they will appeal the verdict, the next step is persuading Lee and the jury to spare their client's life.

"We hoped the jury would agree there was reasonable doubt," said Joseph S. Oteri, the high-profile Boston attorney Capano hired in May to lead his defense team. "The jury was a serious jury. They have spoken and we are bound by that."

About 45 minutes after the verdict, Deborah A. MacIntyre arrived at the courthouse and was engulfed by reporters and camera crews. MacIntyre, the longtime mistress Capano falsely accused of accidentally shooting Fahey in a suicidal rage, said she cried after seeing the verdict announced on television.

Asked to describe her feelings, the misty-eyed MacIntyre said: "Tremendous relief and happiness for the Fahey family."

She said it it was "very frustrating and very hurtful" to be falsely accused, and added: "I have nothing to say to Tom...I do not love Tom Capano at all."

Case grips Delaware

The curious began arriving shortly after dawn Sunday.

Word that a verdict had been reached at 7:50 p.m. Saturday was broadcast on television throughout the evening and morning hours and was bannered across the top of Sunday newspapers.

Since Fahey's disappearance 31 months ago, this case has gripped Delaware as perhaps no other has. Three hundred people searched nearby Brandywine Park that Fourth of July, hoping to find a clue to her whereabouts. Her brothers and sister stood watch at her Washington Street apartment for a month, asking in the media that anyone who might have information please come forward. A billboard along Interstate 95 pleaded: "Help us find Anne Marie Fahey."

But Capano, who knew exactly what happened, was telling police and Fahey's friends she might have committed suicide or left town after he dined with her at Philadelphia's Ristorante Panorama on June 27, 1996. He insisted he had dropped her off unharmed.

For the next 17 months, the pressure on Capano built as investigators closed in and the media reported their every move. It was revealed that the weekend after Fahey disappeared, Capano had thrown away a love seat and rug from his den.

In early 1997, The News Journal reported Capano's brother Gerard sold his boat without an anchor. Could that be part of the mystery?

Still, Capano remained free.

On Oct. 8, 1997, federal agents raided Gerard's home, finding more than 20 guns and 2 grams of cocaine. He was threatened with arrest. Days later, state child protection workers visited Gerard and his wife, Michelle, to investigate a complaint that their two young children were not safe.

Within a month, Gerard cracked and told investigators that on June 28, 1996, he was leaving for work at 5:45 a.m. when he found Thomas parked in his driveway.

Seven hours later, Gerard said, they were 60 miles off New Jersey, trying unsuccessfully to sink a 40.5-gallon cooler with a body stuffed inside. Gerard shot it. It still wouldn't sink. They retrieved it. Thomas opened the cooler, weighted the body with anchors and threw it into the sea. Gerard said he then threw the cooler overboard.

Three days later, on Nov. 11, 1997, Capano was arrested. Police said Capano, acting alone, had killed Fahey because she was ending their three-year affair.

Prosecutors then got a miraculous break.

A fisherman came forward, saying he had a cooler he had found floating in the ocean shortly after Fahey disappeared. It had been pierced by a bullet -- a fact investigators had not made public.

Gerard's story now had corroboration.

Through almost a year in prison, Capano remained silent. But then on Oct. 26, the trial's opening day, Oteri told the jury Capano was innocent. Fahey, he said, had died in a "horrible, outrageous, tragic accident."

Testifying Dec. 21, Capano finally gave his version of events. MacIntyre had burst into his house to find him watching television with Fahey. In a jealous, suicidal rage, she pulled a gun, which fired when he grabbed her arm, Capano said.

A bullet struck Fahey behind the right ear and she died instantly, he claimed. In order to protect MacIntyre, Capano said, he had willingly watched his life be destroyed.

Whether the jury believed his story would be revealed Sunday.

Judge Lee drew polite applause when he walked briskly up the courthouse steps shortly before 9 a.m.

Wharton and the Faheys soon followed. The family marched in tight formation through the throng, which became silent at their arrival.

Next came Capano's 74-year-old mother, Marguerite, who was pushed down King Street in her wheelchair.

"My son is innocent," she snapped at reporters, then made an unflattering remark about a woman, apparently referring to MacIntyre.

Polite applause greeted Connolly, the last of the major players to arrive. The defense team avoided the crowd by entering through a back door, meeting with Capano in a basement holding cell.

The media and spectators were admitted to the courthouse after passing through two metal detectors before reaching the courtroom.

Families hear verdict

The atmosphere was tense as some reporters argued over seats and spectators whispered expectantly. Connolly, Wharton and Robert E. Donovan, the Wilmington detective who was the case's lead investigator, smiled as they leaned on the jury box to chat.

Silence descended as Capano, dressed in a dark suit, was led by his guards through a side door into the courtroom. It was 9:54.

Before taking his seat at the defense table, he gave a glum smile to his mother and gathered family, which included his sister, Marian Ramunno, three of his four teen-age daughters and his ex-wife, Kay. Missing was his brother Joseph, a frequent spectator, who was in Dallas on business. As expected, neither Gerard nor another brother, Louis, was present. Both had testified for the prosecution.

A minute later, the buzzer announcing Lee's arrival sounded and the spectators rose.

After the court was called to order, Lee warned he would tolerate no outbursts. He then addressed the Fahey and Capano families.

"Some group of people is going to be very upset -- I understand that," he said. "But I want you to control your emotions until you get out of the courtroom."

He summoned the jury.

First came the four alternates, who were followed by the six men and six women who had decided Capano's fate.

Not one looked at Capano as they took their seats.

When the foreman announced the verdict, the cheers outside the courtroom were audible, but the spectators remained silent.

Capano never moved. Neither did the prosecutors and defense attorneys.

After the jurors were polled, they were excused until Wednesday. Capano, still showing no emotion, was handcuffed and taken from the courtroom to a waiting van for the trip back to Gander Hill prison. The hearing, which had taken about 10 minutes, was adjourned.

FBI Special Agent Eric J. Alpert, who worked closely with Donovan during the investigation, walked to the prosecution table and slapped his colleague on the back.

Donovan, chewing his ever-present paper clip, smiled.

Connolly and Wharton stood and turned toward the gallery, proud but subdued smiles creasing their faces.

Across from the Faheys, the Capanos cried in silence. Marian Ramunno gently hugged her mother and kissed her on the forehead.

Marguerite Capano, grasping a tissue, rose from her wheelchair and walked to her granddaughters to comfort them.

Robert Fahey, Anne Marie's brother, walked into the courthouse hallway and hugged a friend.

"They did it for her," he said.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 07:09 AM        


Capano's 'absurd' story was his undoing

Prosecution's weakest link was how his ex-lover died

Staff reporters


Thomas J. Capano's lead defense attorney, Joseph S. Oteri, talks to reporters Sunday. Early on, Oteri filled a key hole in the prosecutions case.

Thomas J. Capano doomed himself by taking the stand and admitting he dumped Anne Marie Fahey's body in the Atlantic Ocean, legal experts said Sunday.

"His testifying was a classic mistake, which he did over the objection of his lawyers. That's what convicted him," said Joseph E. diGenova, former U.S. prosecutor for Washington, D.C. "He gave [the jury] the answers to explain away any problems they would have had in the jury room."

The weakest link in the capital murder case against Capano was that prosecutors didn't know how Capano's former lover died. But Capano's lead attorney, Joseph S. Oteri, filled in the blank when he conceded in his opening argument that Capano had stuffed her body in a cooler and disposed of it in the Atlantic Ocean.

Capano's defense was that he did all those things to protect the real killer -- another longtime mistress, Deborah A. MacIntyre -- but jurors clearly didn't buy it.

"The state had a decent circumstantial case and the parts they didn't have, the defense filled in for them," Wilmington defense attorney Joseph A. Gabay said. "For example, no one could tell you how she died. Then Capano said Debby shot her. The jury could still read between the lines and know that she was shot."

Joanne Epps, associate dean at Temple University Law School and a former prosecutor, called Capano's version of events "absurd," and said it gave the prosecution's largely circumstantial case more validity. Prosecutors never found Fahey's body or a murder weapon, so proving Capano's involvement would have been difficult, she said.

"What happens is that the absurdity of his response makes the other story seem OK," she said. "If what you have feels like two choices, the possible choice becomes the preferred choice."

"They only had one defense that they could rationally put before the jury, and that was that somebody else did it," diGenova said. "The only somebody else was a woman who gave him the gun. The jury has to believe it or not, and it's a pretty tough one to believe."

A big problem with Capano's story was that it came so late, Wilmington criminal attorney Michael W. Modica said.

"He had to explain too many lies in the cover-up and he turned the jury off," Modica said. "He trashed MacIntyre. He trashed his brother. He trashed everybody...Then there was the timing of the story. You didn't hear about it until two years after the incident, when he's surrounded by a bunch of attorneys."

Legal experts agreed that the jury, which deliberated for three days, spent a reasonable amount of time reviewing the evidence.

"They had 400 exhibits to look at and that's going to take time when you've got 12 people looking over it," Gabay said.

Capano's fate -- life in prison or execution -- will be determined largely by whether his attorneys can prove their client is basically a decent person who made a mistake, the experts said.

"I don't believe he'll get the death penalty -- I don't think he deserves it," Modica said. "This isn't a guy with a long criminal record."

Gabay said he believes the defense should focus on Capano's professional background to save his life.

"I heard the defense say they only had two days of evidence and I think there should be a lot more," Gabay said. "He clearly provided a wealth of energy in the realm of public service."

"My first reaction is that he'll get life," Epps said. "I think he'll get a break that a lot of people don't get because they don't have the middle-class attributes.

"If you have the attributes that he has," Epps said, "it's easy to make you look like you're a good person because you've never been pressed in a way that would make you reveal your character flaws."




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 07:10 AM        


More charges possible -- but unlikely

Staff reporters


Now that Thomas J. Capano has been found guilty of first-degree murder, it is unlikely prosecutors will pursue charges he tried to hire a hit man to kill two star witnesses before they had a chance to testify against him, experts say.

But prosecutors would keep those charges alive, and perhaps add new ones, if it looked like an appeals court might free Capano from prison, say lawyers who have been watching the case.

"The more confident they are that their conviction will be affirmed on appeal, the less likelihood there is of any other criminal charges going forward," said John S. Malik, an experienced criminal defense attorney. If prosecutors feel Capano could escape serious prison time, chances are they will bring new charges against him, Malik said.

In September, a New Castle County grand jury indicted Capano on three counts of criminal solicitation, charging that he tried to hire someone to kill his former mistress, Deborah A. MacIntyre, and his brother Gerard. They are considered the two most important witnesses who testified against Capano.

Criminal solicitation charges could bring him 13 years in prison.

Deputy Attorney General Ferris W. Wharton, part of the team prosecuting Capano, would not say if the state will pursue future charges. "We're not talking about what we're going to do, we're taking it one step at a time," Wharton said.

If prosecutors decide to pursue a new case against Capano, they have plenty of ammunition, much of it from his own mouth, several criminal attorneys say.

The first question prosecutor Colm F. Connolly asked Capano during cross-examination was: "Since Jan. 28, 1996, how many crimes have you committed?"

His answer to that and several follow-up questions could be used against Capano in a future trial.

Capano admitted encouraging his brother Louis to lie to the federal grand jury investigating Anne Marie Fahey's disappearance and encouraging MacIntyre to lie at a bail hearing.

By admitting he encouraged witnesses to lie, Capano could face charges he suborned perjury and obstructed justice, said Joseph A. Gabay, a defense lawyer who has handled several capital murder cases.

"If the U.S. attorney were inclined to press any charges against Mr. Capano, it would be trying to influence the witnesses," Gabay said.

Capano also has admitted desecrating a corpse by dumping Fahey's body at sea, but lawyer Michael Modica said that charge, and others directly related to Fahey's death, are not likely to be filed against Capano.

Delaware's laws against double jeopardy mean that if a prosecutor does not file related charges at the beginning of a trial, then the charges normally cannot be filed later, Modica said. But any federal crimes related to the murder could be filed because that would not violate the double jeopardy standard.

Most lawyers agreed that if it appears Capano will spend the rest of his life in prison, new charges probably will not be filed.

"It could be done, but as a practical matter, when you've got a murder one [conviction] out there," said Charles E. Butler, a former prosecutor with the state Attorney General's Office, "what purpose is served by new charges?"




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 07:14 AM        


Capano appeal to be heard by Philly judge

Nov 30, 2007

A judge in Philadelphia will hear convicted killer Thomas Capano's federal appeal of his murder conviction. All three federal judges in Delaware have recused themselves, and earlier this week Chief District Judge Harvey Bartle, the third accepted the case. Capano was convicted in 1999 of killing his mistress, Anne Marie Fahey, and was sentenced to death. A new penalty hearing was ordered by the Delaware Supreme Court last year, noting that the jury recommendation for the death sentence was not unanimous.

State prosecutors decided not to seek the death penalty a second time, and Capano was sentenced to life in prison without parole. That’s the sentence he is now seeking to have overturned.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        December 4th, 2007 07:19 AM        


Capano's federal appeal assigned to judge in Philly

The News Journal

November 29, 2007

WILMINGTON – Tom Capano's federal appeal of his murder conviction has been assigned to the chief judge of the federal court in Philadelphia.

According to the federal docket in Wilmington, Chief District Judge Harvey Bartle III accepted assignment to the case by e-mail on Nov. 26.

Bartle took the case at the request of U.S. Third Circuit Chief Judge Anthony J. Scirica after all three judges in the Delaware district recused themselves from hearing the matter.

According to court papers, the briefing in Capano's Habeas Corpus petition is complete and is awaiting a ruling from a judge.

Bartle, 66, a graduate of Princeton and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, is a former Pennsylvania Attorney General who joined the federal bench in the Eastern District of Pennyslvania in 1991.

Capano, a wealthy, politically connected attorney, was convicted in 1999 of the murder of Anne Marie Fahey, his lover and the scheduling secretary to then-Gov. Tom Carper.

A jury found Capano guilty without police ever recovering Fahey's body. Capano, who was married, admitted at trial that he dumped Fahey's body at sea but he blamed a different lover for the killing.

Then-Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee imposed the death penalty following a 10-to-2 jury recommendation.

The Delaware Supreme Court, however, later overturned the sentence, citing changes in the law by the U.S. Supreme Court.

State prosecutors decided not to pursue the death penalty a second time, and Capano's sentenced was reduced to life in prison without possibility of parole.

The federal appeal seeks to overturn the sentence and conviction.

Capano's attorney Joseph Bernstein argues in court papers that Lee made several errors during the trial, including allowing hearsay statements and failing to allow the jury to consider lesser-included charges against Capano.

The appeal also charges prosecutor Colm F. Connolly asked several improper questions during his cross-examination of Capano.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Apr 2007
        December 8th, 2007 01:36 AM        

May God comfort this family. I know that they miss Anne Marie. I know that every day is tough...especially the holidays. I am asking that you remember my Heather this year. I don't know where Heather is and it has been 12 yrs., 3 months and 12 days today. www.WhereIsHeatherTeague.com
I have kept a journal since day 16 and I have more quesitons today than I did years ago. The eyewitness has changed his story, has lied and the KSP still won't allow us to hear the 911 call. Evidence that FBI collected set in KSP evidence room for over 9 yrs. All we need is to know where our Heather is. We cannot mourn, but we grieve daily...If anyone in the family need/want to talk: 270-824-8343 Bless you all

What really happened on Newburgh Beach August 26, 1995? Where is Heather Teague?



Courthouse Steps Maven
Oct 2007
        March 26th, 2008 04:52 PM        

Judge has questions on Capano claims

By SEAN O'SULLIVAN • The News Journal

March 19, 2008

WILMINGTON -- A federal judge Tuesday appeared highly skeptical of claims by Thomas Capano that his 1999 conviction for the murder of Anne Marie Fahey was flawed and should be overturned.

District Judge Harvey Bartle III started out by reminding Capano attorney Joseph Bernstein that he had a very high burden to overcome in asking a federal court to overturn a state result. "We do not sit as a super-Supreme Court of Delaware," he said.

The hearing lasted just over two hours and most of that time was taken up with Bernstein's presentation.

The standard for a federal judge to overturn a state conviction is that the state result wasn't just an error but an "unreasonable error" and a violation of federal law.

The arrest and conviction of Capano, a wealthy and politically connected attorney, for the 1996 death of Fahey, the scheduling secretary to then-Gov. Tom Carper, was one of the most high-profile criminal prosecutions ever in Delaware and gained international attention.

Thomas Capano

As is typical in appeals of this type, Capano, who is serving a life sentence for Fahey's murder, was not in court. Bernstein said outside court that his client had not been interested in attending even if it was allowed.

Bartle, the chief judge in the Philadelphia district, was assigned to the case after all the Delaware federal judges recused themselves.

At the hearing for the "habeas corpus" petition, Bernstein made three arguments about where the trial court erred and where the Delaware Supreme Court should have ruled there was a violation and awarded Capano a new trial:

• Superior Court Judge Bill Lee should have given the jury the option to convict Capano of lesser charges.

• Lee should have not allowed certain hearsay evidence from Fahey's friends and a therapist.

• Lee should not have allowed prosecutors to question Capano about his silence before trial.

In each case, during Bernstein's hour-and-a-half argument, Bartle interrupted with skeptical and detailed questions, showing he was familiar with some of the smallest details of Capano's state trial.

Legal observers believe Capano's argument about the failure to allow the jury to consider lesser charges was going to be his strongest and Bernstein spent most of his time on that issue.

He argued that in Delaware case law, Capano is in "a universe all its own" and that the case law cited by the Delaware Supreme Court in upholding the conviction was incorrect.

Bernstein detailed four Delaware cases where a defendant argued that a shooting death was an accident and where the Delaware Supreme Court ruled or affirmed that the jury should have been allowed to consider lesser included offenses. Capano is the one exception, he said.

But Bartle said such instruction should only be given if there was "a reasonable basis in the evidence."

"You can't [have a jury] infer something without evidence to that effect," he said.

Bernstein responded that the evidence was in Capano's testimony that Fahey was killed when Capano attempted to wrestle a gun from a distraught and suicidal second mistress and it went off.

Bernstein said a jury could have found Capano's action of attempting to wrestle a gun away was reckless, and a basis for a crime other than first degree murder.

Bartle seemed unsatisfied with that answer, saying it would be wrong for the jury to infer from Capano's testimony that Capano shot Fahey.

Bartle, and later Deputy Attorney General Elizabeth McFarlan, noted that in cases cited by Bernstein the defendants were the one holding the gun when the weapon "accidentally" went off.

Bartle said Capano's case appeared to be "a step removed" from the ones Bernstein cited.

When McFarlan took her turn, defending the conviction and subsequent affirmation by the Delaware Supreme Court, she spoke for less than a half hour and faced far fewer inquires from Bartle.

But early in the proceeding Bartle appeared to make a ruling flatly rejecting an argument by the state that Capano's charge about lesser-included offenses was moot because it was no longer a death penalty case.

And Bartle did press McFarlan on Bernstein's point that if the Delaware Supreme Court had "veered off course," and treated Capano's case differently than all others, it could be a problem.

McFarlan said it may be a problem, but that it was then a due process issue, not the issue Capano had raised.

McFarlan then reiterated that state's position that Capano was not entitled to have the jury consider lesser charges because he presented no evidence to support anything other than complete innocence or a conviction on first-degree murder.

As for the other two arguments, McFarlan said the disputed evidence was allowed in under a common exception to the hearsay rule and that Capano himself opened the door to questions about his silence by his own statements on the stand.

U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly, who is not associated with the appeal but was the original prosecutor on the case, watched Tuesday's arguments.

He said Capano received a fair trial in 1999 "and I've not heard anything that causes me to doubt that."

State prosecutors declined to comment and afterward Bernstein said only that he thinks the judge understands the arguments.

Bernstein said he expects a ruling in several months and that whoever loses at this level will appeal the decision to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.




Courthouse Steps Maven
Apr 2008
        April 16th, 2008 10:11 PM        

U.S. judge turns down new trial for Capano

Denial of certificate also undermines appeal prospects for convicted killer

The News Journal

April 16, 2008

A federal judge Tuesday not only denied convicted killer Thomas J. Capano's petition for a new trial but made it more difficult for him to take his case to the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals.

Capano, who was convicted in Superior Court of the 1996 murder of his mistress Anne Marie Fahey, sought a new trial alleging the state proceedings and jury verdict had been unconstitutionally flawed.

District Judge Harvey Bartle III rejected all three of Capano's claims as meritless and declined to issue a "certificate of appealability." To file an appeal to Bartle's ruling, Capano first will have to convince the appeals court that Bartle was wrong in refusing to issue the certificate. "And that is hard to do," said Professor Thomas Reed of the Widener University School of Law.

As a result, the U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals could deny Capano's appeal without ever hearing his claims about an unfair trial.

Bartle, the chief judge of the federal court in Philadelphia, was assigned to the case after all three of the district judges in Delaware recused themselves.

The 44-page ruling -- which came less than a month after Bartle heard oral arguments in Wilmington -- also was unusually speedy for a case of this type, Reed said. Similar appeals usually take months or even years.

The Delaware Attorney General's Office, as well as the prosecutor in the case and Robert Fahey, the victim's brother, all praised Bartle's ruling.

"I'm very pleased with the decision," said Colm F. Connolly, who prosecuted the case and is now the U.S. attorney for Delaware, adding that he was confident the conviction would be upheld.

"We are one step closer to finality of the legal proceedings for the Fahey family," he said.

Fahey said he was happy with the result, though he added, "Speaking as a victim, not as a lawyer, we [the family] continue to struggle with the fact that as we get further and further away from our sister's murder ... we get further and further away from the real thing that happened here -- a young woman's life was taken away."

The appeals are all about procedure and process and the rights of the accused, he said, and not the fact that Capano took away everything that his sister had, including her rights, when he "stuck a gun to Anne Marie's head."

Joseph M. Bernstein, Capano's attorney, had no comment on the ruling. He said he will be meeting with Capano in the coming weeks to discuss the next step, but expects an appeal will be filed.

In court papers and during a March 18 oral argument before Bartle, Bernstein argued that three errors were made by Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee at the 1999 trial:

• He should have given the jury the option to convict Capano of lesser charges.

• He should have barred certain hearsay testimony from Fahey's friends and therapists.

• He should have barred the prosecutor from questioning Capano about his post-arrest silence before the trial.

During the nearly two-hour hearing, Bartle appeared skeptical of Capano's claims and questioned Bernstein at length while demonstrating a detailed knowledge of the case.

The judge had few questions for Delaware Deputy Attorney General Elizabeth McFarlan.

The hearing apparently did little to persuade Bartle.

Bartle found that the jury could not and should not have been given the option of convicting Capano on lesser charges because Capano's defense failed to provide any evidence to support a lesser verdict.

Bartle also dismissed the claims about the improper admission of hearsay evidence, finding that the evidence was either agreed to by Capano's defense or part of an accepted exception to the rule.

While the Delaware Supreme Court found that some evidence had been improperly allowed at trial, Bartle agreed with the finding that it was essentially the same as other properly admitted evidence and did not substantially affect the verdict.

Finally, Bartle tossed out the allegations that Connolly improperly questioned Capano about his post-arrest silence, finding that Capano "opened the door" to such questions by his own testimony.

So, Bartle concluded, "Thomas J. Capano has not demonstrated that he is entitled to relief."




Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        September 9th, 2008 01:44 AM        


Convicted killer Capano has one option

U.S. Supreme Court last hope for possible retrial

The News Journal

September 3, 2008

Convicted murderer Thomas J. Capano is down to one option.

The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a petition from the once wealthy and politically connected Capano for a rehearing of his murder case by the entire court.

This means Capano's only legal option in his effort to overturn his conviction for the 1996 murder of Anne Marie Fahey is to petition the U.S. Supreme Court in the next 90 days.

Capano's attorney, Joseph M. Bernstein, declined to comment Tuesday on the latest setback and said no decision had been made on an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

A statement from the Delaware Attorney General's Office said it was pleased with the court action.

U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly, who prosecuted Capano, said Tuesday that this latest ruling is "excellent news."

"We are now one step away from bringing finality to this case. I know the Faheys will be pleased to hear it," he said. "It has been a long journey and I'm absolutely convinced justice was done. I look forward to it finally being over."

"One and done," said Fahey's sister, Kathleen Fahey-Hosey.

The terse, one-page order issued last week did not address any of the arguments raised in Capano's 37-page petition, filed Aug. 12. It instead reported that none among the three-judge panel that originally turned down Capano's request changed their minds and there was not a majority opinion among the rest of the court's judges to rehear the case.

Capano was seeking to have the appeals court overturn an April ruling by District Judge Harvey Bartle III that denied Capano's request for a new trial.

Fahey-Hosey said she hopes the U.S. Supreme Court will act as quickly as other federal courts in dismissing Capano's claims.

Thomas Reed, a professor at Widener University School of Law, said no one can know for sure what the high court will do, but he believes the case is not likely to attract the attention of the justices in Washington. The U.S. Supreme Court accepts only a fraction of the more than 5,000 cases that are sent to it every year for review, Reed said, and the justices have already turned down a previous petition from Capano. "I don't see anything in the future [for the case]," he said.

Capano has argued that there were several legal flaws during his state trial that violated his rights.

He charges that Delaware Superior Court Judge Bill Lee made three mistakes: he allowed hearsay testimony, he allowed improper questions from Connolly on cross-examination and he failed to give the jury the option of convicting Capano of a lesser charge.

Judge Bartle ruled -- and the appeals court has upheld -- that the hearsay testimony was proper under a well-recognized exception to the rule, that Capano opened the door to all the questions by Connolly during his testimony and that Capano's defense team failed to provide the jury with any evidence that would have allowed a conviction on a lesser charge.

Capano was originally sentenced to death by Lee in 1999. But in 2006, after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that changed the law regarding capital punishment, state prosecutors dropped the death sentence. Capano was then sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole.



Courthouse Steps Maven
Dec 2007
        September 9th, 2008 01:45 AM        


CAPANO WOES: Court rejects petition from convicted Delaware killer

By The Associated Press

September 2, 2008

WILMINGTON — The U.S. 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals has denied a petition from convicted killer Thomas Capano.

In a one-page order issued last week, the court reported that no member of the three-judge panel that originally turned down Capano’s request changed his mind. It added there was not a majority opinion among the rest of the court’s judges to rehear the case.

Capano’s attorney, Joseph M. Bernstein, refused to comment Tuesday.

U.S. Attorney Colm F. Connolly, who prosecuted Capano, says Tuesday this latest ruling is “excellent news.”

Capano, a once wealthy and politically connected attorney who spent time on death row, is now serving a life sentence for shooting his mistress, Ann Marie Fahey, in 1996 — allegedly because she was breaking off an affair with him.



Courthouse Steps Maven
Jun 2009
        June 28th, 2009 07:26 PM        

I just read Ann Rule's book on this case and followed it closely when it occurred. How sad that Mark Fahey died a few years ago. Can anyone tell me what the cause of his death was?



Courthouse Steps Maven
Apr 2008
        July 1st, 2009 11:15 PM        

I have no idea. Sorry.


Courthouse Steps Maven

Courthouse Steps Mavens   Missing/Unidentified   Adults Missing For Years   Anne Marie Fahey, 30; 1996; Delaware{desc: Thomas Capano responsible}

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