A man on trial for a gay hate murder in New York has claimed he is ‘trisexual’ and was acting in self-defence.
Elliot Morales, 36, is charged with the second-degree murder of Mark Carson, 32 – who he shot in the head on a Manhattan street in May 2013.
“I consider myself trisexual, bisexual – multiple,” he told New York Supreme Court on Wednesday (February 2) – adding that he has a preference for transgender women.
“It doesn’t matter. Male, female.”
Morales – who is representing himself – admits to shooting Carson after a day of heavy drinking.
However, the killer claims it was his victim and a friend – Danny Robinson, 34 – who instigated the fight.
“They were going to jump me,” he testified.
“I thought he was going to take something out and shoot me with it,” he continued.
“I thought one or maybe both of them had a firearm. So I kind of raised the firearm and turned away and shot it at the same time.
“It was kind of like a reaction thing, and I just ran.”
Asked if he was homophobic, Morales said, “Absolutely not.”
The incident began after a drunken Morales asked Carson and Robinson “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.
Earlier this week, Morales called as his first witness a former trans lover 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.”