Danny Robinson told the jury that he begged for his best friend’s life.
New York State Supreme Court has heard how a gay man was subject to “angry homophobic slurs” and shot dead in a vicious hate crime.
Danny Robinson testified against Elliot Morales who killed his best friend Mark Carson while they were on a night out together.
“He walked between us and said, ‘You all look like gay wrestlers,'” Robinson – who is also gay – told the court yesterday (February 22).
“He was saying things like “faggot’ and slurs, like angry slurs.”
Struggling to hold back tears, Robinson told the court how he begged Morales to “put the gun down,” – but he refused to listen and shot Carson in the head anyway, reports the New York Times.
Carson’s death was the fourth attack in a spate of anti-gay hate crimes to plague New York in May 2013.
The brutal murder outraged the city’s LGBT community, who quickly demanded the authorities clamp down on homophobic crime in New York.
Morales – who made the decision to represent himself – is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime.
However, he told jurors he was “not a bigot of any type” – a statement Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey disagreed with.
“Mark Carson was a total stranger to Elliot Morales and he was killed for no other reason other than because he was gay – no other reason,” she said.
“He aimed and he deliberately shot into the head of a gay man instantly ending his short, unfinished life.”
The Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio recently ended his boycott of the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade, after gay groups were welcomed for the first time.
The annual event – which attracts over a million tourists each year – has maintained a long-held ban on gay groups, due to the influence of anti-LGBT Catholic groups.
Due to the anti-gay policy, Bill de Blasio has shunned the parade every year since his election in 2014 – and the event has also faced a large commercial boycott and protests over the exclusion of LGBT groups.