Greenwich Village Murder Suspect To Enter Insanity Plea

Greenwich Village Murder
Members of the New York LGBT community, as well as allies and supporters across the nation, were absolutely stunned and saddened upon hearing the news of Mark Carson, who was shot in the face and killed outside a bar on Sixth Avenue and West Eighth Street in Greenwich Village. The attack came as part of a wave of anti-gay violence that erupted in New York City earlier this year, and spawned subsequent protests and demontrations throughout the city. 

Now, according to the Huffington Post, the shooter, Ellior Morales, is facing charges of charges of murder as a hate crime, criminal possession of a weapon and menacing, and is likely looking for an acquittal via a "temporary insanity" plea. Morales appeared before Manhattan Supreme Court yesterday afternoon. During the hearing, defense attorney Kevin Canfield told the court that he "intends to present psychiatric evidence at trial". He later spoke to reporters after the hearing, saying that "it could be temporary insanity." NY Daily News previously reported on Morales' intent to plead not guilty, and speculated that an insanity plea would likely be his defense. This is, however, the first formal indication of the plea in court.  

Mark Carson RememberedIt is not yet known if Morales had any history of mental illness or psychological problems prior to the May 18th shooting. Thus, it is currently unclear as to what sort of psychiatric evidence Canfield intends to present at trial. As was noted by HuffPost:

"Morales, 33, did not speak during the brief court appearance but appeared somber, sporting a shaved head, gray shirt and tie and wire-rimmed glasses."

Morales also made headlines with the various comments he made upon confessing to the murder after the fact, reportedly laughing as he did so, saying that the victim "thought he was tough, and I shot him. It's the last thing he'll remember." He also allegedly threatened police officers, saying "I keep bringing you deeper and deeper into my hell. Just wait till I get these cuffs off, the first b—- cop I see I'm gonna take out." Morales would eventually claim that he has "no problem with gay people", despite extensive evidence to the contrary. 

No dates have been set yet for Morales' trial. 


  1. says

    What and how does a crime wave work? Does it imply some catalyst that sets people off? Or some shadowy group trying to make things happen?

    Lots of people wanted to call that a anti-gay crime wave, which is stupid. It should be a anti-gay flood, or swell. Wave suggests intent.

  2. Profe Sancho Panza says

    Temporary insanity is a very difficult defense to argue; juries usually reject it. Since there’s no disputing what happened in this case, though, it’s pretty much the defense’s only option.

  3. UFFDA says

    Rj Aguiar – why don’t you learn to write properly, to finish your sentences properly, to put the missing word in, to stop trying to be subtle, clever and/or to insert irrelevant opinions. Clearly, you think far too much of yourself to be an editor here, when in fact you’re incompetent.

  4. Lucas H says

    How does “temporary” insanity even EXIST as a legal plea?! Don’t get me wrong – I understand insanity exists, psychotics exist, sociopaths exist, etc. But “temporary” insanity? Who comes up with this stuff?

  5. Profe Sancho Panza says

    I believe the first US temporary insanity defense dates back to before the Civil War: a man who killed his wife’s lover. It was successful in that case, but nowadays – unlike on television! – it’s a Hail Mary tactic unless the defendant has a documented history of mental illness to make it plausible.

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