Attorney drops request to represent himself in Delaware murder trial
WILMINGTON, Delaware (CNN) -- Thomas Capano, a Delaware attorney on trial for allegedly murdering a secretary to Gov. Thomas Carper just over two years ago, withdrew his request to represent himself Tuesday and will allow his attorneys to handle the proceedings.
As his defense team was preparing to begin its case Monday, Capano -- who hasn't practiced criminal law in more than 20 years -- stunned the courtroom by asking Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee for permission to defend himself. He said his legal team wasn't acting aggressively enough.
They "want to proceed with a scalpel," Capano said. "I want to proceed with a chainsaw."
Capano reversed his position Tuesday morning, telling the judge he would allow his lawyers to continue with their defense. He said after meeting late Monday with his attorneys, he had "misunderstood" what they were trying to do and he was now satisfied with their approach.
Lee told the defendant the decision "serves your best interest."
Capano is accused of murdering Anne Marie Fahey, Carper's scheduling secretary, in June 1996 and dumping her body in the Atlantic Ocean off New Jersey. Prosecutors claim Capano killed Fahey in a jealous rage when she tried to end their secret, three-year affair.
The defense, in a surprise opening statement at the start of the trial in September, said Capano had admitted dumping Fahey's body but said she died as the result of an accident.
The defense began presenting its case Tuesday, calling a number of witnesses in quick succession and asking them about another man Fahey was said to be dating when she died.
Defense attorneys also introduced e-mail messages between Capano and Fahey, an apparent attempt to show a friendly relationship between the two.
The defense also introduced tickets purchased for a concert in August 1996, to counter the prosecution's claim that Fahey's June murder was premeditated by Capano.
Capano's brother, Gerard, has testified he used his boat to help Capano dump Fahey's body at sea. He also said he helped his brother get rid of a bloodstained sofa.
The judge recessed the trial mid-afternoon. The defense will continue calling witnesses when court resumes Wednesday morning.
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