Fast Times at Marina Bay?
Still, plenty of questions remain: What prompted Robert to allegedly jam his brakes in front of a Jeep and then stop the Porsche in the middle of the street in the first place? And if he fired in self-defense, why did he flee the scene so quickly, without reporting the confrontation?
“The fact is that an unarmed man on a Quincy street was shot by a man who left the scene and was not found for several days — so the self-defense claim would not appear to be very viable,” says Ben Zimmerman, Fasano’s attorney in a civil suit that will be filed following the outcome of the criminal case. “The question is, Can someone, no matter how influential or whatever their station in life may be, shoot someone in the street, and leave, and get away with it?” Zimmerman went on to say that “Not only did [Fasano] get shot with a .45-caliber handgun and lose half his liver, but he’s also had to endure having his private life exposed and his name brought out in ways that it probably shouldn’t have been. His life is very different than it was.”
Indeed, Fasano has had a swift undoing. In May 2010, just months after Milton’s fire chief, John Grant, had described him to the Patriot Ledger as “A very good firefighter, a very well-liked kid,” Fasano was fired for failure to cooperate with an internal investigation and conduct unbecoming a firefighter. He appealed his dismissal to the state Civil Service Commission, but was denied. He’s currently unemployed.
THERE’S BEEN PLENTY of speculation about whether the two O’Connell cases are in any way linked.
Consider first the woman who was in the Jeep with Fasano, his girlfriend Jennifer Bynarowicz. Both she and Robert have said that they do not know each other. On the night Fasano was shot, in fact, Bynarowicz told police she had never before seen the shooter, and couldn’t identify him even if she were shown photos. Perhaps that’s so, but it seems odd considering that William O’Connell was Bynarowicz’s landlord — and that, according to some media reports, she and William had dated for as long as 10 years.
As for the cocaine found inside the Jeep, police say Bynarowicz told them that the drugs were hers — “I’ve been drinking, I’ve been partying,” she said. When police asked her where she’d gotten the coke, she began to cry and said, “That has nothing to do with it…. You don’t believe me.” (Bynarowicz, who has not been charged in connection with the incident, did not respond to requests for comment.)
Sullivan, Robert’s attorney, wouldn’t comment on whether there could be a connection between Robert’s and William’s cases, but does say there’s no indication that there was any relationship between Robert and Fasano specifically. Zimmerman maintains that the two men barely even had a chance to exchange words during the altercation, which could create doubt about whether Robert acted in self-defense, and could raise questions about the nature of their dispute. Prosecutor Andrew DiCarlo Berman — a private-practice attorney who was assigned to prosecute both cases because the O’Connell family has made past campaign donations to Norfolk District Attorney Michael Morrissey — sees the cases of the wayward O’Connells as clear-cut and entirely separate: One man’s up for statutory rape, another for attempted murder. “I honestly have no idea if the two cases are connected; for my purposes they are not,” he says. “But am I curious? You bet.”