Attackers in Brooklyn Hate Crime Face 78 Years to Life


Two men accused of beating Romel Sucuzhañay (above, with brother Diego) and killing his brother Jose in December while yelling anti-Hispanic and anti-gay epithets were indicted yesterday, the NYT reports:

"The two suspects, Keith Phoenix, 28, and Hakim Scott, 25, are
charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and assault, all as
hate crimes, for the Dec. 7 attack on the immigrant, Jose O.
Sucuzhañay, and his brother Romel, who survived. At a news conference
in Brooklyn announcing the charges, the Brooklyn district attorney, Charles J. Hynes, said that if the men are convicted, his office would push for the sentences to run consecutively. 'The acts which we charge this morning,' he said, 'are no less despicable because the victims Jose and Romel Sucuzhañay were not gay.' Mr.
Hynes also issued the latest denial by a city law enforcement official
of Mr. Phoenix’s claim that he acted in self-defense because he thought
Mr. Sucuzhañay was reaching for a weapon in his waistband."

WNYC has audio excerpts of statements from Hynes and José Arrufat, an attorney for the Sucuzhanay family. (photo above via WNYC)

2 Indicted in Fatal Beating of Ecuadorean Immigrant [nyt]