Letters of Support Come in for Michael Sandy’s Killer

The judge in the Michael Sandy hate crime murder trial has received a letter from the jury’s foreman, playwright Eric Zaccar, renouncing his decision to convict Anthony Fortunato: “I never, at any time, believed, stated or wanted to vote that Anthony Fortunato was guilty of manslaughter two, much less a hate crime.”

Sandy_fortunatoNine other letters have been received urging leniency, according to Gay City News: “Other letters seeking leniency came from Di Chiara, Fortunato’s mother and other relatives, a professor and the dean of students at St. Francis College, where Fortunato was once a student, from the head of a Brooklyn recreational facility, and from State Senator John L. Sampson who wrote that he had known the Fortunato family for many years. ‘I know the difference between a criminal and someone who gets wrapped up in a bad situation,” Sampson wrote in a letter on his official stationary. ‘In my opinion, and I hope your honor will agree, Anthony Fortunato falls into the ladder (sic) category.'”

Fortunato is due for sentencing on November 20th. According to Gay City News, Fortunato “faces a maximum sentence of eight-and-a-third to 25 years and would get his first parole hearing after serving just over seven years if he receives that sentence.”