Elliot Morales killed Mark Carson after insulting his sexuality.
A killer who shot a gay man in Manhattan after subjecting him to homophobic insults has been defended by his trans lover – who insists the defendant is no bigot.
Elliot Morales – who is acting as his own lawyer for the hate-crime murder of gay stranger Mark Carson – called as his first witness a former love interest who he had met online.
The 38-year-old woman – using the pseudonym Jane Smith – testified from behind a curtain in Manhattan Supreme Court, stating that she and Morales had a physical relationship on and off for a decade.
“In your experience and personal knowledge, do you believe Elliot Morales is a person who hates gays?” Morales asked his former flame – who does HIV testing in at a local LGBT community centre.
“Absolutely not,” she answered.
The woman said she met Morales after he responded to her dating profile that stated, “Transsexual woman looking for a man.”
Morales previously told Justice Kirke Bartley: “I’m not a bigot of any type. I don’t hate anyone. Not gays, lesbians, none of that.
“This is not a hate crime. This was not an intentional murder.”
Last week, Morales brazenly tried to blame murder victim Mark Carson and his friend Danny Robinson for provoking the attack.
The incident began after a drunken Morales asked the pair “are you, gay wrestlers?” and called them “faggots”.
The men turned around and confronted him, according to prosecutors.
Morales then walked around the corner with the two men following. They exchanged more words before Morales shot Carson in the face, as Robinson begged him not to.
However, Morales claimed that the incident could have been avoided if the men had walked away.
Morales – who is charged with second-degree murder as a hate crime – insists in his opening remarks that the slaying had nothing to do with his victim’s sexuality.
The trial continues.