Peter Greenspun and Misha Lopez defended Jay Fasick on the charge of first degree murder in a two-week trial that began on April 30, 2018. The Commonwealth asserted that Mr. Fasick murdered a man he knew after a disagreement about the validity of bitcoin as an investment. Mr. Fasick left Fast Eddie’s through the rear exit at closing time. He was followed out and, as described by Mr. Fasick in his testimony, was attacked and defended himself, eventually using a pocket knife to get away from his attacker.
Mr. Greenspun was able to establish the second-by-second nature of the interaction both inside and outside of the bar by using slow and stop action video from security cameras. Mr. Lopez was instrumental in forming the synchronization of the various security camera video to help the jury see how the assailant, who had a blood alcohol level of up to 0.22, was furious at Mr. Fasick and went out the back of the bar without any reason other than to confront Mr. Fasick.
The prosecution sought a first degree murder conviction that would have exposed Mr. Fasick to a sentence of up to life in prison. However, the jury found that the killing was not with malice and premeditation. After more than nine hours of deliberations over two days, the jury returned a verdict of voluntary manslaughter, making clear this was not a premeditated and malicious killing. The Commonwealth sought a 10-year sentence, the maximum for that charge. However, the sentencing verdict was well below that, at five years.
While disappointed that Mr. Fasick was not acquitted, Mr. Greenspun and Mr. Lopez are pleased that common sense prevailed and a verdict of murder was not returned.