Victim's family disappointed with verdict in Andrew Fiacco murder trial
(FOX 2) - After 11 hours of murder trial deliberations, a Macomb jury decided 21-year-old Andrew Fiacco's fate -- and the victim's family says they're disappointed.
Fiacco was found guilty of second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death and dismemberment of his childhood friend Stephen McAfee. Prosecution had charged him with first-degree murder.
Mike Thomas is McAfee's uncle and spoke with us on behalf of their family.
Andrew Fiacco guilty of 2nd-degree murder in death of Stephen McAfee
"Frankly the family's disappointed in the verdict," he said.
He's convinced the sticking point in the trial was an altercation between Fiacco and his nephew before the shots were fired. Fiacco claims he acted in self-defense, Thomas and his family don't buy it.
"We believe that if anything happened in that field that night that involved a scuffle between these two, that Stephen realized what was happening and attempted to defend himself and tried to fight off what ultimately became his demise," Thomas said.
That was March of 2016. Fiacco and his then-girlfriend Eevette MacDonald mutilated the 19-year-old's body, burying his remains in two locations about 10 miles apart -- in a vacant field in Bruce Township where the shooting happened, and behind Fiacco's home on Kuntsman Road in Ray Township. A year later, MacDonald confessed to a friend, who went to police. Authorities arrested MacDonald and Fiacco, and he led investigators to McAfee's remains.
Fiacco stood mute when he was convicted Thursday. His lawyer, Kristina Joseph, spoke with reporters after the verdict.
Arguments rest in Andrew Fiacco murder trial
"We're absolutely pleased that it's not first degree. We do believe that he used lawful self-defense and there was evidence of lawful self-defense," she said. "It sounds like the jury was between manslaughter and second degree."
Second degree murder carries is punishable by life in prison or any term of years-- it's a harsh reality for Stephen McAfee's family.
"Stephen was a good young man. He was loved by his family. Very, very much so. Stephen wasn't as portrayed by the defense in this case," Thomas said. "It's disappointing to the family that there may be a time when Andrew Fiacco is going to be out and going to be able to walk the streets again. Stephen is never going to be able to do that."
Fiacco is scheduled to be sentenced March 21.