Is that what the prosecutor argued? Are you saying the prosecutor conceded and did not argue against the claim that it was kinky sex? If so, it's a valid point. I honestly am not familiar with the case. Still not something I would pick for activism.
Out loud? No. But that's clearly the basis of his case (and the entire investigation, for that matter). The "undercurrent" of the whole case was that anyone who is kinky is obviously sick and twisted and can't be trusted, so even despite all of the holes in his girlfriend's story (which was only obtained by threatening/bribing her with prosecution and a plea bargain), the jury should convict him of premeditated murder. There's no evidence of premeditation, other than the story they concocted.
The fact that he likes kinky sex, at all, ever, was what was used to convince the jury that this
was premeditated murder. Sort of like how Blacks used to be automatically guilty of anything of which a White cared to accuse them - it didn't matter if race was involved in the particular instance, because the mere fact that one was Black and facing accusation by a White was all that mattered.
The evidence supports the claim that it was planned as kinky sex, not murder, and that his incompetence and indifference to the risks caused her death. Which qualifies as second-degree murder. But the prosecutor got that first-degree conviction based upon prejudice.
I also agree that it's a little odd to think this is not getting enough attention. The difference is largely academic. In NH, first-degree murder carries a sentence of life imprisonment without parole. Second-degree murder carries a sentence of life imprisonment, or a lower sentence if the judge chooses... but in this case it's not realistic to imagine that the judge would impose anything less than life, even if the option existed. Therefore, the only real difference would be whether he got life with the possibility of parole, or without. So, the practical result is too close to really be worth much concern, compared to the far-greater travesties that happen in the court system every day, where innocent people get convicted of crimes they did not commit, or crimes that are not legitimately crimes; a murderer getting a slightly-harsher sentence than the law actually calls for is not enough for me to get worked up about, except to point out the role that discrimination played in that result.
Trying to hide the body puts him in 'First Degree' territory.
Nope. First degree requires that the killing be purposeful. Which, according to the statute, means that "the actor's conscious object is the death of another, and that his act or acts in furtherance of that object were deliberate and premeditated."
Second-degree murder, on the other hand, applies if someone "knowingly causes the death of another" or "causes such death recklessly under circumstances manifesting an extreme indifference to the value of human life."
There's no evidence that he went into this planning to kill her. The evidence is that he did whatever the hell he wanted, and just didn't care what happened to her, which meets the standard for second-degree murder, but not first.
As I noted, the only practical difference is whether he will ever be eligible for parole.