Sentences Come Down for Michael Sandy’s Killers

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Three defendants, Anthony Fortunato, John Fox, and Ilya Shurov, were sentenced yesterday for their convictions in the hate crime death of Brooklyn interior designer Michael Sandy, whom they lured to a parking lot near the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn and after a botched robbery attempt, chased him into traffic where he was killed.

FortunatoNewsday reports: “Anthony Fortunato, 21, who had told jurors they shouldn’t convict him of a hate crime because he’s gay, too, was sentenced to seven to 21 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted petit larceny. John Fox, 20, was sentenced to seven to 21 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted robbery as a hate crime. Ilya Shurov, 21, who pleaded guilty, was sentenced to 17 1/2 years in prison for second-degree manslaughter as a hate crime and attempted robbery as a hate crime.”

According to Gay City News, however, the prison terms could be much shorter: “Fortunato received seven-to-21 years for manslaughter as a hate crime. His first parole hearing will come after he serves six years…According to the state corrections department, Fox’s first parole hearing will come after he serves 11 years. If he is not paroled, he will get a conditional release at 14 years if he participates in programs mandated for him and does not violate prison rules…[Shurov] avoided a felony murder conviction and will get a conditional release after serving 15 years if he follows prison rules.”

Sandy’s parents were present at the sentencing, the paper reports:

“Sandy’s parents spoke at the hearing with Denise saying she had forgiven the three, but that she missed her son. ‘I am so unhappy now without my son,’ she said. ‘Holidays are empty for me.’ Ezekiel noted that while the three would go to prison, they would some day be released. He would never again see his son. ‘Yes, they will go to an institution, but they will have birthdays, they will have holidays, they will have their families,’ he said. ‘What do I have? I have a dead house. I have a cemetery.'”

As Little as Six Years for Sandy Ringleader [gay city news]