Man found guilty of homophobic murder sentenced to 40 years in prison
Elliot Morales was sentenced to 40 years to life in prison earlier today.
“Mr. Morales, yours is a legacy of death and fear, nothing more, nothing less,” Manhattan Supreme Court Justice A. Kirke Bartley said upon sentencing.
The charge carried a minimum sentence of 20 years to life.
“To family and friends of Mark Carson, it is important to hear from me personally. I’m truly really, really, really sorry,” Morales said at his hearing.
Carson, 32, was shot dead in New York’s West Village in 2013, after a man approached him and his best friend and began spouting homophobic abuse.
The victim, – who was openly gay and ran a gelato kiosk in Grand Central Station – was branded a “faggot” and a “queer” before the assailant shot him in the face at point-blank range.
Morales – who represented himself at the trial – previously admitted to drinking heavily prior to the shooting, but claimed in court that he had acted in self-defence.
“They were going to jump me,” he testified.
“I thought he was going to take something out and shoot me with it.”
He also claimed he couldn’t have been motivated by Mr Carson’s sexuality because he himself is has slept with transgender women.
“I consider myself trisexual, bisexual – multiple,” he told the court.
He insisted: “I, Elliot Morales, am not a bigot. I don’t hate gays.”
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However, the eight-person jury was unconvinced, finding him guilty of all charges back in March.
According to the New York Times, lead prosecutor Shannon Lucey said: “This was bigotry, and this was unjustifiable rage.
“The defendant was able to shoot Mark Carson over nothing because Mark Carson was nothing to the defendant. Mark Carson was nothing to the defendant but a subhuman fag.”
“The defendant is self-loathing; he wants no one to know or to see who he is.
“He has a lot of self-loathing issues, and that came out when he saw Mark Carson and Danny Robinson being who they are.”