Wednesday, April 6, 2016

UPDATED::Man Testifies How Night Out in the West Village Ended With Gay Slurs and a Friend’s Killing - The New York Times

UPDATE:: Man Accused of Gay-Bias Killing Says He Acted in Self-Defense
A man charged with murdering a gay man in the West Village because of his sexual orientation testified on Wednesday that he had acted in self-defense because he believed he was about to be attacked. He denied that his motive had been a bigoted hatred toward gay people and said that he himself was bisexual.

Taking the stand in his own defense, the man, Elliot Morales, admitted that he had gone to the West Village carrying a loaded revolver on May 17, 2013, after a day of heavy drinking and had gotten into a heated argument with two gay men he encountered on Avenue of the Americas near Eighth Street.

Mr. Morales said the men followed him around a corner onto Eighth Street and challenged him to a fight, even after he took out the revolver and, holding it at his side, told them to leave him alone.
Mr. Morales said he could not remember yelling gay slurs at the men before the shooting, as several witnesses recalled. He testified that he was bisexual and had had relationships with transgender men. Asked if he harbored animosity toward gay people, he said, “Absolutely not.”
The killing of Mr. Carson just after midnight on May 18, 2013, shocked New York City and led to angry street protests to call attention to a surge of violence against gays in the city that year. He was 32 when he died, a Brooklyn native who worked as an assistant manager at a gelato kiosk in Grand Central Terminal.

On Monday, the trial of Mr. Morales, 36, who is charged with murder as a hate crime and weapons possession, began with opening statements.

Mr. Morales, who is representing himself, told jurors that he was “not a bigot of any type” and claimed that “what happened was not an act of intent or hate on my part.”

“I am a human being like everyone else,” he said. “I made my share of mistakes. That doesn’t make me a bad person.”

But a prosecutor, Shannon Lucey, said the evidence would show that Mr. Morales purposely picked an argument with Mr. Carson because he was gay, then shot him in cold blood as several people looked on. “Mark Carson was a total stranger to Elliot Morales, and he was killed for no other reason than because he was gay,” Ms. Lucey told the jury. “No other reason.”

Man Testifies How Night Out in the West Village Ended With Gay Slurs and a Friend’s Killing - The New York Times

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