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New Jersey

Suspect too fat to kill, defense says

October 29, 2009|Times Wire Reports

A man accused of running up and down a flight of stairs to kill a former son-in-law is offering a novel defense: At 5 feet 8 and 285 pounds, he was just too fat to have pulled it off.

An attorney for Edward Ates is making the case in a Hackensack courtroom that his client wouldn't have had the energy to fatally shoot Paul Duncsak, 40, from a perch on the staircase.

At the time of the 2006 killing, Ates was 62. His daughter, Stacey, and Duncsak were involved in a bitter custody dispute after their divorce.

Attorney Walter Lesnevich said Ates was in such bad shape that he couldn't have pulled off the shooting or the killer's fast getaway.

"You look at Ed and you don't need to hear it from a doctor," Lesnevich said.

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