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Killer’s Ex-Wife Asks for Leniency

January 25, 1999

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ The ex-wife of a prominent attorney convicted of killing his mistress asked Monday that the man’s life be spared, for the sake of their daughters.

``I’m not here to stand by my man. I’m here to stand by my daughters,″ said Kay Ryan. She adopted her maiden name last year after divorcing Thomas Capano and ending a 26-year marriage that produced four children and was _ by Capano’s own admission _ marked by numerous infidelities.

On Jan. 18, a jury returned a guilty verdict against Capano, a former state prosecutor and high-profile political adviser. He was convicted of murdering Anne Marie Fahey, the governor’s scheduling secretary, and dumping her body at sea in June 1996.

Defense lawyers are asking the jury to recommend that Superior Court Judge William Swain Lee give Capano life in prison without parole, instead of the death penalty. The hearing is expected to last through the week.

Since Capano’s trial began in late October, Ms. Ryan has been a frequent visitor to the courtroom, often accompanying her teen-age daughters.

Prosecutors say Capano killed Ms. Fahey because she wanted to end their secret, three-year affair.

``I am as repulsed by his vile actions and behavior as most of you here in this courtroom,″ Ms. Ryan said. But, she added, ``for everything he has done, he has been a loving father.″

Capano’s lawyers say that even in jail, Capano can give support to his daughters.

Capano’s youngest daughter, Alexandria, 13, said that even with her father in jail, he can still offer encouragement and she can communicate with him.

``He’s still there as much as he can be and we need that,″ she said, her voice breaking as she spoke to the jury. ``He’s still our dad.″

Capano’s other three daughters were also expected to testify this week.

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