Elliot Morales, charged with murder as a hate crime in the brutal killing of a NYC gay man, Mark Carson (pictured), pleaded not guilty today in a Manhattan court room, the New York Daily News reports:
As reported earlier, Carson was shot in the face at point-blank range and killed in Greenwich Village on May 18. Morales' lawyer, Kevin Michael Canfield, recently attributed his client's actions to being sexually abused as a child. Additional details were also revealed today about the horrific circumstances surrounding the murder:
"[Morales] boasted of the murder moments after pulling the trigger, court documents claim.
'He thought he was tough, and I shot him. It's the last thing he'll
remember,' Elliot Morales, 33, told cops according to court documents
released at his arraignment Tuesday.
'Guy thought he was tough in front of his b—- so I shot him. Diagnosis is dead, doctor.'"
Morales also allegedly threatened police during the course of his interrogation:
"'I keep bringing you deeper and deeper into my hell,' Morales allegedly said. 'Just wait till I get these cuffs off, the first b—- cop I see I'm gonna take out.'"
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance used the occasion to call attention to the prejudice that LGBT people face every day, even in places such as New York City. Via CBS New York:
“'This young man’s tragic death serves as a reminder of the discrimination that many of our family members, coworkers, and friends still face,' said Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance. 'This defendant is charged with targeting and gunning down Mark Carson on the streets of Greenwich Village because of his sexual orientation. Mr. Carson was murdered as he walked through a neighborhood that has long been a center of the gay rights movement and home to many LGBT New Yorkers, as well as a destination for LGBT visitors from around the globe…Bias-related crimes have no place in New York City. By instilling fear, hate crimes tear at the very fabric of our communities.'”