(FOX 2) - The trial of a 21-year-old man from Macomb County charged with murdering a friend and dismembering the body is underway.
Andrew Fiacco of Ray Township, Mich., is accused of killing a 19-year-old Stephen McAfee in 2016, charged with first-degree murder, felony firearm, mutilation of a body and lying to police. His girlfriend, 19-year-old Eevette MacDonald, has already pleaded guilty to mutilation of a body and accessory to a crime after the fact.
McAfee had been missing for more than a year when his dismembered remains were found at two different locations in Macomb County -- behind Fiacco's house on Kunstman Road near 28 Mile in a shallow grave in a vacant lot at 34 Mile and Van Dyke.
According to detectives, McAfee and Fiacco were in that vacant lot -- defense attorneys said the two were best friends -- when Fiacco said McAfee attacked him.
It was originally reported that Fiacco shot McAfee once in the stomach and twice in the back, but during hearings a doctor with the medical examiner's office revealed that McAfee had been shot twice in the head - once in the front and once in the back.
Police said Fiacco then left the body there for more than a month. That's when MacDonald testified that her then-boyfriend Fiacco forced her to help dispose of the body, threatening her with a semi-automatic handgun. Authorities said they cut up the body with an axe, and buried parts in both the vacant lot and behind Fiacco's house. The Macomb County Sheriff's Office said MacDonald helped him by carrying the lower extremities back to Fiacco's house in a duffel bag.
The crime was uncovered after MacDonald told a friend about the murder. That friend went to the police, and brought MacDonald in for questioning. She told officials that Fiacco was responsible, and he was brought in for questioning.
After Fiacco confessed during interrogation, officials said both suspects physically walked them through the crime scenes pointing out where they buried the body.
Defense attorneys said both teens suffered from mental illnesses.
During the trial, prosecutors revealed that Fiacco told police the killing was in self-defense and the result of a drug deal gone bad. Police said Fiacco told them they went out to the vacant lot, Stephen refused to pay for the pot and instead, attacked Fiacco.
Prosecutors revealed that after allegedly killing McAfee, Fiacco and MacDonald's relationship grew tense. Stephen's favorite color was purple, and at some point, Fiacco reportedly threw out everything MacDonald owned that was purple.
They said that when Fiacco went back to the body after a month had passed, he took Stephen's watch, vape and ear buds. The attorney said that Fiacco told MacDonald: "It was a contract hit. I'm in the mafia. I'm a hit man for the mafia. Stephen saw something he shouldn't have seen and I had to kill him."
Defense argued in opening statements that they are not contesting Fiacco's mutilation of a body charge, he has taken responsibility of that. But rather, whether or not Fiacco committed murder.
Reminding the jury that they must find Fiacco guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, defense attorney David Griem asked members to consider not only the evidence but the lack of evidence.
Some of the points Griem made included that it was self-defense, a difference in size -- Stephen being bigger than Fiacco, and the fact that Fiacco has autism.
"I think that autisitic individuals tend to be hypersensitive to situations and often overreact," he said.
Griem asked the jury to call upon their own experience with people with autism as they prepare to watch Fiacco's police interview.
McAfee's parents were also among those to take the stand. Stephen's mother read long exchanges between her and Fiacco after she hadn't heard from Stephen for a while. According to the testimony, Fiacco gave a long answer about them talking on FaceTime and how he tells Stephen he needs to be better at checking in with his parents. It was evident from the text messages that Stephen's mother didn't like them being friends.
Later Stephen's mother said she was alerted that Fiacco had left a comment on a news story about Stephen's disappearance:
"I wish I knew where he was, I would've told authorities already. He had a problem with checking in with his parents or anyone including me. He was very quiet and kept to himself a lot actually. I'd give him fatherly lectures about how he needs to check in with his parents before he goes somewhere or does something or if he went from one place to the next that he needed to let them know when he was going and when he arrived. Never did he do any of those things though. I miss him so much! Please come home brother! We all miss you very much!"
Stephen's mother also said she noticed that Fiacco deleted all photos with Stephen from his Facebook.
In its cross examination, defense asked his mother if she discussed the case with her brother, who is an attorney and has been in the courtroom throughout the legal process, and talked about filing a civil complaint against Fiacco. She said yes.