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October 6, 1998 - Jury Selection Begins For Delaware Lawyer Charged With Murder - Today In Crime History
On this day, October 6, in the year 1998, the murder trial began for Thomas Capano, a former deputy attorney general for the State of Delaware, accused of killing 28-year-old secretary, Anne Marie Fahey.
Anne Marie Fahey, a secretary to the Governor of Delaware, was last seen alive June 27, 1996. Neither her body nor the murder weapon were ever recovered. Prosecutors built the case against attorney Capano on the testimony of the accused lawyer’s brother, his mistress, and circumstantial evidence, including entries from Fahey's diary in which she called the politically connected Capano "a controlling, manipulative, insecure and jealous maniac."
Capano was the prime suspect because Fahey had told friends about his jealous behavior and he was the last person seen with her. The two had dined together at the upscale Ristorante Panorama in Philadelphia's Society Hill section on the last night she was seen, and the waitress told investigators the mood was somber.
Capano denied having anything to do with Fahey's disappearance, at first telling investigators she might have killed herself. Specks of blood, however, were found in his home, and his maid told authorities he replaced a rug and love seat in the days after she vanished.
In November 1997 -- nearly 17 months after Fahey’s disappearance -- Thomas Capano’s younger brother, Gerard Capano, confessed his role in disposing of Fahey’s body to federal authorities. According to Gerald Capano, Fahey was killed by Thomas Capano on June 27, 1996 and her body was stuffed into a fishing cooler. The next morning, Capano convinced Gerard to go with him to Stone Harbor, N.J., where they used Gerard's fishing boat to dispose of Fahey’s body in the Atlantic Ocean. Thomas Capano drove the boat miles into the Atlantic Ocean and tossed the cooler overboard. When the cooler failed to sink, he shot holes in it. Still, the ice chest floated. Capano pulled the body out and wrapped it with anchor chains, according to the younger brother. Fahey’s body then sank and disappeared into the deep waters. When Thomas Capano's former mistress, Debby MacIntyre, was questioned by investigators about a firearm she had purchased, she admitted to supplying a firearm to Capano.
At trial, Thomas Capano’s criminal defense attorney argued that Debby MacIntyre, armed with a firearm, had burst into Capano's room and, as Capano and MacIntyre were wrestling for the gun, it fired, accidentally killing Fahey. Thomas J Capano testified at his trial that Fahey was accidentally shot when he grabbed the arm of MacIntyre, who had come to his house with a gun, talking wildly about killing herself. Capano said that instead of calling the police or an ambulance, he disposed of Fahey's body in order to protect himself and MacIntyre. The jury unanimously rejected Canpano’s testimony and he was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to death. The death sentence was eventually reversed on appeal, resulting in a life sentence without parole.
On September 19, 2011, Capano, aged 61, was found dead in his jail cell by a correctional officer performing a routine security check at the James T. Vaughn Correctional Center state prison near Smyra, Delaware, where Capano was imprisoned. Convicted murderer Thomas Capano died of sudden cardiac arrest, according to the Delaware medical examiner.