Gold Meritorious Patron
It appears the defense is not that he didn't do it, but that he didn't plan ahead to do it -- that is, it was murder, but it wasn't "first degree" murder. And the reason Fowler shot Ciancio is because Ciancio "interrupted" Fowler's suicide process.
So ... you're fixing to commit suicide, and someone walks in on you (just a little early for a meeting you had arranged), sits down at the table and picks up the pen to sign the papers you laid out, and you decide at that moment that killing him is the thing to do?
Why not just get the papers signed, write the check, give the guy the check, bid him goodby, and THEN lay down on the floor and shoot yourself, after he's gone? Doesn't make any sense. Well, none of it makes any sense to rational people, but never mind that...
I'm not buying the defense AT ALL -- I think he planned it, and I suspect that others knew something was afoul and suddenly had to "run out for a meeting" so as not to be there when it happened. (Pure speculation of course since I wasn't there at the event or for the trial testimony...)
... Meanwhile... suppose he gets convicted of the lesser charge, does anyone know, would it be "second degree" murder? and if so, what would be the penalty for that? as different from the "life in prison" penalty for murder in the first?
I think you're spot on on the timeline. The suicide was interrupted by an already scheduled meeting? Wait what? But I doubt seriously anyone else is involved. There was no precedent to make anyone expect something like this could happen. And there is no LOGICAL benefit to killing Ciancio when he was willing to walk away forever for only $9K. That's peanuts to an "OT". Some how it must have made sense in Fowler's twisted mind. The only thing that makes sense to me is that Fowler must have secretly hated Ciancio and decided if he was going out he'd take him with him.
In any case we now know the defense's position which is an understandable attempt but LAME. I don't think it matters much though as I don't expect he will ever be free again and a decent man is dead. We can only hope this makes as much traction as possible in warning people, and getting people OUT!
"OT"' IS A SCAM, THEY ONLY WANT YOUR MONEY AND COULD NOT CARE LESS WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU, LEAVE NOW!