A Florida man whose defense said that he was too fat to have killed his former son in law was convicted of murder in Hackensack Superior Court. Edward Ates’ lawyers argued that at almost 300 pounds, he would have been too winded after climbing the stairs from the basement of Paul Duncsak’s home where the first shot was fired to the first floor where the rest of the six shots were fired to aim a gun. He admitted on the stand to being a good enough marksman to have shot a snake after the murder.
Edward Ates’ lawyers argued that at almost 300 pounds, he would have been too winded after climbing the stairs from the basement stairs where the shooting began to where five more shots were fired into Paul Duncsak to aim a gun. He admitted on the stand to being a good enough marksman to have shot a snake after the murder.
Prosecutors said that Ates, 62, drove from Florida to Ramsay, NJ, to kill Duncsak, who was in a nasty custody battle with Ates’ daughter. Ates then drove to his mother’s house in Louisiana, something else the defense suggested he wasn’t healthy enough to do. His sister, who initially gave a different story about when he arrived in Louisiana, later said that Ates had asked her to lie about it. A wiretapped phone call between the two, rehearsing their story, was played for the jury.
Records of his internet usage showed that Ates had researched silencers, lock picking and committing the perfect murder (that last search, by the way, brings up many, many pages almost completely full of movie reviews).
Duncsak’s mother suggested that bad blood between the two men might have stemmed from Duncsak’s refusal to put money into Ates’ failing Florida golf course.