Saturday, October 06, 2007

Guilty: Manslaughter Conviction for John Fox

John Fox, one of the men responsible for Michael Sandy's death, has been found guilty of manslaughter as a hate crime, but not murder. He faces a sentence of 5-15 years.

Fox, Anthony Fortunato, Ilya Shurov, and Gary Timmins lured Sandy to a remote beach via a website and attacked him, chasing him to his death in traffic.

Fortunato is now claiming that he himself is gay, but closeted at the time of the crime, and wouldn't have targeted another gay man. Yeah right, closeted gay men never commit homophobic crimes against other gay people. Please.

A defense attorney for Fox, John D. Patton, equated the death of Michael Sandy to paying too much for a beer at a Yankee's game:

By the account of prosecutors, Mr. Fox played a role in every aspect of the crime. He supplied the computer screen name used to exchange messages with Mr. Sandy.

He met Mr. Sandy alone, prosecutors said, guiding him to the place where the others lay in hiding. And he was one of the two men identified by witnesses as chasing Mr. Sandy onto the highway.

During the trial, which began on Sept. 17, a lawyer for Mr. Fox, John D. Patten, attacked the credibility of the police and Mr. Timmins. But he built much of his defense on the legal definition of robbery. ...

He told jurors that Mr. Timmins had described a plan merely to steal from Mr. Sandy, drawing a contrast to the use of force.

“Ripping someone off doesn’t mean much,” Mr. Patten argued. “I get ripped off when I go to Yankee Stadium and pay $10 for a beer.”

Related: A gay person can commit a hate crime, Targeting LGBT for crimes = hate