MACOMB TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A woman accused of helping her friend cover up the murder of 19-year-old Stephen McAfee was sentenced Thursday to one year in prison and three years of probation.
Eevette MacDonald originally was charged with accessory after the fact to a felony, disinterment and mutilation of a dead body and lying to a police officer.
She struck a plea deal in December, pleading guilty to the first two charges in exchange for the dismissal of the lying to a police officer charge. That plea was officially accepted in court Thursday before her sentencing was handed down.
She could have faced up to 10 years in prison for the disinterment and mutilation of a dead body conviction, but Judge Jennifer Faunce sentenced her to just the one year of incarceration.
MacDonald was 18 at the time the charges were issued and she remained free on bond before her sentencing.
McAfee's father, mother, older sister and older brother all offered victim impact statements at MacDonald's sentencing. His mother, Susanne McAfee, said when the detective working on Stephen's case told her he had been murdered, he asked her if she had any idea who killed her son. She said she knew right away.
"(The detective) asked me, 'Who do you think did it,' and I then responded, 'Andrew Fiacco.' The detective said, 'Yes, you are right," said Susanne McAfee in court.
Watch the full sentencing hearing with victim impact statements here:
Stephen McAfee's brother and sister both described the agonizing months of searching for their younger brother and the pain they had to see their parents endure. They described MacDonald as a "monster."
MacDonald was welling up, then finally crying, while standing in court, and she offered a short apologetic statement.
"I want to apologize for being cowardly and not coming forward with the information that I had. I will never understand the pain that they're living through. And I am so sorry for what happened to Stephen, and if I could go back and try and maybe do something differently I would. I would come forward sooner. I am sorry that they had false hope for all those months. I would take it back in a heartbeat if I could," she said.
Judge Faunce said perhaps the most troubling part of this case was MacDonald's ability to lie about the case for more than a year.
"It's not just what you did, which was horrible, it's the fact that you had so many opportunities to rectify it, and you didn't. And at the end, it still wasn't you who came forward," said the judge.
MacDonald, who is now 20, allegedly aided her friend Andrew Fiacco, now 21, with covering up the murder and dismembering McAfee's body in 2016. Fiacco who was charged with McAfee's murder after the Macomb Township teen's remains were found in April 2017 at a vacant property in Bruce Township and near Fiacco's home in Ray Township. McAfee had been missing since March 2016.
Fiacco had been charged with first-degree murder, but a jury found him guilty of the lesser charge of second-degree murder. His defense argued he acted in self-defense when he fatally shot McAfee.
Body parts found near suspect's home
Lower extremity remains and a skull were found buried near Fiacco's home in April 2017 in Ray Township, investigators said. At a second location in Bruce Township a lower jaw bone and clothing were found, investigators said.
Positive identification was made from the evidence found at the Bruce Township location, which is near 34 Mile Road and Van Dyke. Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said this is a vacant plot of land.
Fiacco was originally charged with first-degree murder, disinterment and mutilation of a dead body, lying to a police officer and felony firearms violations.
Investigators had been working to find McAfee and figure out what may have happened to him since March 13, 2016 when the Macomb County Sheriff’s Office took a report of a missing person from McAfee's family. According to court records, the murder happened March 10, 2016.
Case goes cold for year
The case went cold for nearly a year. According to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office:
"An investigation was started by Macomb County and multiple friends/family were interviewed. Investigators followed up on numerous tips, missing person posters were distributed, and a reward was offered. A private investigator was utilized by the family. All leads were exhausted and the case went cold."
That's until March 2017, a year after McAfee went missing, when MacDonald allegedly told her friend she knew what happened to McAfee. MacDonald said her ex-boyfriend, Fiacco, shot McAfee to death in a wooded area in Bruce Township, according to investigators.
Investigators said MacDonald's friend went to the Sheriff's Office, with her father, on April 26, 2017 and told investigators MacDonald confided in her that she helped Fiacco dispose of McAfee’s body a month after Fiacco shot him in the woods in Bruce Township.
MacDonald and Fiacco both were arrested that day.
McAfee's remains were found the next day, April 27, 2017. Fiacco led investigators to both locations where the remains were found.
Investigators said Fiacco eventually admitted to shooting McAfee in the face when McAfee allegedly attacked him. But that was after a year of Fiacco denying he had any knowledge of McAfee's disappearance.