Final Defendant Pleads Guilty in Michael Sandy Case

In a plea bargain, Ilya Shurov, the last man to be tried in the death of Brooklyn interior designer Michael Sandy, pleaded guilty yesterday to manslaughter and attempted robbery as a hate crime. Shurov, 21, will serve 17 1/2 years in prison.

SandyIn exchange for the plea deal, prosecutors dropped the charge “felony murder as a hate crime” which could have carried a life sentence. Shurov and three others lured Michael Sandy via an internet chat room to a beach near Brooklyn’s Belt Parkway, where a botched robbery led to Sandy being forced into traffic where he was hit by a car. Sandy fell into a coma and later died of his injuries.

The New York Times reports: “Of the four defendants, only Mr. Shurov was accused of physical violence. In the first trial, witnesses said he had hidden behind a dune, run out, thrown punches, chased Mr. Sandy in front of a moving car on the Belt Parkway and then rifled his pockets.”

Defense lawyer Hermann P. Walz told the paper: “He might have had a reasonable chance of beating the hate crime, but he had less of a chance of beating felony murder. He’s definitely culpable of the actual death. His actions, more than anybody else, caused this person to die.”

Earlier this month, John Fox was convicted of manslaughter and attempted robbery as a hate crime, and a fourth accomplice, Gary Timmins, was sentenced to four years for attempted robbery as a hate crime and offered a plea deal to testify against the others.

Yesterday, New York magazine published a lengthy piece on the case and its attendant hate crime charges.

For all our Michael Sandy coverage, click here.


  1. Cadence says

    Felony murder charges have been used in similar cases as this one, so why should this case be any differen? Media and other predominately White gay websites have tried to portray these guys as victims, but they are not. They sought out Mr. Sandy and other gay men, beat them, and then robbed them. How is this not a hate crime?

    I just have to wonder if it had been a gang of Black young men who had done this to a young White gay man if the outcry would be the same.

  2. 24play says

    Oh, Cadence, RACISM! RACISM! It’s all about RACISM!

    Except that no one here has contested the convictions on hate-crime charges. Or manslaughter. Or tried to portray the assailants (now convicted) as victims.

    I simply pointed out that some people might consider the death penalty harsh punishment for something less than a murder conviction.

    But don’t let a little thing like reality intrude on your cozy cocoon of victimhood. After all, everything IS always about race.

  3. Cody says

    The New Yorker article was like a forlorn love letter about the killer a la Truman Capote, journalism at its worst, the victim was treated as an asterisk.

    And, speak on it Cadence, I don’t generally get into the race or gay victim on most issues , but, had it been 4 black kids from Harlem killing a guy from Chelsea, this outcome would have been a heck of a lot different as would the level of sympathy for the victim. Except, of course to those who see nothing wrong with the murder, the slap on the hand sentence, and, the lame way the DA could not use the hate crime laws that are on the books.

    The coverage on this site has been excellent, too bad some of the readers didn’t read it,and who bring the same off the wall racial tripe that the anti-gay groups do when spewing hate about people who are different.

  4. Cadence says

    24Play, I mentioned other media, I didn’t say anything about this site, or posts that have been made on this topic today. As Cody mentioned, the NY magazine article today paints one of the killers as a victim, the NY Post and Times have asked if this really was a hate crime. Some on this site and others said it wasn’t a hate crime, even though Sandy was targeted because he was gay. Even some of the jurors said that they felt that they were making a mistake by convicting the defendants of a hate crime, and two said they wanted to change their vote.

    Be blind if you want to be, but race plays a part in how this story is being portrayed in the media. There is no way in hell that the media would depict four Black males as victims if they attackd a White male and that attack resulted in the White man’s death. In fact, in similar cases, all the perps. have been charged with murder, regardless if they actually had contact with the victims.