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Anthony Fortunato Convicted of Hate Crime in Michael Sandy Death

Anthony Fortunato, whose attorney tried to convince a Brooklyn jury that his client could not be guilty of a hate crime in the death of Michael Sandy because he too was gay, has been convicted of manslaughter in the second degree as a hate crime as well as petty larceny.

Sandy_fortunatoThe jury deliberated for four days.

Fortunato, Fox, and two others lured Michael Sandy via an internet chat room to a beach near Brooklyn's Belt Parkway, where a botched robbery led to the victim being forced into traffic where he was hit by a car. Sandy fell into a coma and later died of his injuries. Fox was convicted of manslaughter and attempted robbery as a hate crime last Friday.

According to Gay City News, the deliberating was contentious in Fortunato's case, with many objecting to the hate crime charges. Said one juror: "By the letter of the law Fortunato was guilty, but no one felt he had any hatred or animosity toward homosexuals. It was incredibly hard and I know that the other jurors felt a lot of sympathy for Anthony Fortunato. No one thought he was a bad kid."

Another juror, with whom the judge had reported many of the other jurors were having conflicts, reiterated those thoughts: "They pounded down my throat that he was reckless, that he was negligent. Nobody believed that hate crimes should have been on the table."

Fox is scheduled to be sentenced on October 24. Fortunato is to be sentenced four days earlier, on the 20th.

A memorial and vigil are scheduled for Sandy on the anniversary of his death. Details are here.

Guilty Verdict Reached In Brooklyn Hate Crime Killing [ny1]
Man guilty of hate crime in death of gay victim at Brooklyn beach [newsday]
Jury Convicts Second Sandy Defendant of Manslaughter, This Time Reluctantly [gay city news]

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Comments

  1. good.

    Posted by: nic | Oct 11, 2007 6:04:48 PM


  2. amen.

    Posted by: the queen | Oct 11, 2007 6:16:35 PM


  3. Exactly what he deserves...

    Posted by: Robert In WeHo | Oct 11, 2007 6:40:20 PM


  4. May Sandy rest in peace.

    Posted by: my2cents | Oct 11, 2007 6:56:10 PM


  5. Well, he's sure to have a boyfriend now that he's going to the slammer!

    Posted by: peterparker | Oct 11, 2007 10:22:30 PM


  6. A job well done by this jury.

    Posted by: queendru | Oct 12, 2007 3:41:25 AM


  7. Sometimes--but unfortunately too rarely--juries get it right. Fortunato's pretty little face is about to get a physical introduction to the NY penal system. Justice, albeit rough justice, served.

    Posted by: rudy | Oct 12, 2007 6:49:06 AM


  8. Unfortunately it's all to easy for gay people to hate each other too. I'm sure self-hatred had a lot to do with this kid targeting other gay people. He shouldn't have been let off the hook and the jury did the right thing.

    Posted by: MT | Oct 12, 2007 8:49:57 AM


  9. I started with a comment on why it took the jury four days to decide that this was a hate crime but...it's good it's over and Sandy's parents can finally have some peace. I hope the punk serves the whole 25 years.

    Posted by: davey | Oct 12, 2007 10:03:27 AM


  10. " No one thought he was a bad kid." Huh?!?!?
    Oh, yeah, what a great guy, he lures men to motel rooms and then robs them because they're easy targets cause they're gay. He's heinous.

    Posted by: Jake | Oct 12, 2007 10:43:23 AM


  11. This is all so tragic. A young life lost, another one sent to be wasted in the slammer! Good god, when is this going to stop? Or is it ever gonna stop?

    Posted by: Shabaka | Oct 12, 2007 10:45:54 AM


  12. Despite feeling terrible for the family of Sandy, I agree with the sentiments of those jurors who don't believe this was a hate crime.

    I know whenever a gay man is killed violently we throw out hate crime, but if indeed Fortunato is gay, then it's just not a hate crime. I know the knee jerk reaction is to scream hate crime, but it is just a terrible and unfortunate incident.

    Posted by: Juror Number None | Oct 13, 2007 6:15:46 PM


  13. Juror number none:

    If Fortunato is gay, that makes it no less a hate crime. In this homophobic world, self-loathing homos are a dime a dozen. He targeted his own fear of being the stereotypical 'weak' gay man by luring and then robbing them. Sandy's death was the result.

    The jury did the right thing.

    Posted by: taylor Siluwé | Oct 14, 2007 11:10:07 AM


  14. Juror number one: the only requirement for a hate crime is that the victim was selected based on sexual orientation. It's clear that Sandy was picked because he's gay.

    Posted by: max | Oct 14, 2007 3:37:42 PM


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