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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. 


Killer Of NYC Gay Man Pleads Not Guilty

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:

6a00d8341c730253ef0192aa1e8347970d-800wi"The disturbed suspect shook his head as the charges of second degree murder as a hate crime, menacing a police officer and criminal possession of a weapon were read out in Manhattan criminal court."

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.'”


NYC Gay Man's Killer Indicted; Lawyer Blames Murder on Client Being Sexually Abused as a Child

The New York Daily News reports that a Manhattan Criminal Court has indicted Elliot Morales, 33, who shot Mark Carson, 32 (pictured), in the West Village on Saturday night in a hate crime murder. Morales did not appear in court, but his attorney did. Writes the Daily News:

Mark carson realThe lawyer, Kevin Michael Canfield, later said Morales is not guilty of the slaying and is "devastated by the charges."

"He didn't murder anybody," Canfield said, suggesting there were other factors at play.

"He was sexually abused as a child by a male authority figure which led to a lifetime of alcoholism and drug abuse," Canfield told the Daily News, adding, "It's a terrible tragedy."

Despite other factors which may have contributed, Morales was caught soon after he shot Carson, and the gravity of the situation is very real. Towleroad previously reported on Morales' charges which included murder as a hate crime and weapons charges, as well as the massive march and rally which followed on Monday.

The Daily News recalls the incident:

"Look at you faggots, you look like gay wrestlers," Morales allegedly told victim Mark Carson and his friend minutes before policed say he shot Mark Carson, 32, in the head.

Authorities said he callously laughed as he confessed to the random killing. His gleeful expression came as he allegedly told investigators, "I shot him in the face."

The indictment follows several weeks of increased anti-gay bias incidents in New York City, including the beating of two separate gay couples near Madison Square Garden, as well as an attack on New York nightlife promoter Dan Contarino. The Daily News reports that Morales will face "his Supreme Court arraignment on June 18th." For now, he is being held at Rikers Island with no bail posted.

Mark Carson's Family, Gay Couple Beaten by Knicks Fans Speak at NYC Rally Against Hate: VIDEO

Bompars

Flourine Bompars, the aunt of Mark Carson who was murdered over the weekend, and Nick Porto and Kevin Atkins, the gay couple attacked recently outside Madison Square Garden, spoke at yesterday's anti-hate rally in NYC, along with several other speakers.

They are featured in a report from the NYDN, which you can watch along with NY!'s report, AFTER THE JUMP...

Said Bompars: "He was a loving caring person who was also loved and will be truly missed from his mother and his father and members of his family, friends, and coworkers. And the family would also like to have justice served so that Mark's death is not in vain.

Check out our big slideshow HERE if you haven't yet.

Porto

Continue reading "Mark Carson's Family, Gay Couple Beaten by Knicks Fans Speak at NYC Rally Against Hate: VIDEO" »


Mourning Mark Carson and Responding to Anti-Gay Violence

By ARI EZRA WALDMAN

CarsonProgress sometimes breeds backlash, but that's not the whole story behind a hate-filled gunman shooting Mark Carson (right) in the head at West 8th and Sixth Avenue on Saturday. Mark's tragic, unnecessary, and violent execution followed quickly on the heels of two other anti-gay attacks near Madison Square Garden, where gay couples were brutalized simply for being gay. In response to these attacks, the community is gathering today at the LGBT Community Center, marching to where Mark was killed, and hearing from our leaders about what can be done.

But it's not entirely clear everyone understands what we're fighting for. A quick (admittedly unscientific) survey of the several press releases, Facebook posts, and other announcements about this evening's rally reveals a few telling clues: Out of 39 Facebook posts about the attacks, Mark's death, and the rally, 27 of them included some iteration of the phrase "Take back our ..." city, neighborhood, town, and so on. Nearly all of them referred to the progress we've made on winning the freedom to marry. Nine even referred to those talking heads that have said that the debate over marriage is over and we've won. Various press releases from our community leaders and elected officials expressed understandable outrage at these heinous attacks, but also talked about "not going back" to a time when New York City was a dangerous place for gays to live. 

That's not what this rally should be about. Any suggestion that we're taking back the city streets implies that they were, at some point, ours. Any defiant proclamation that we refuse to return to a time when the City was dangerous ignores the fact that the City is still pretty dangerous for openly gay members of many minority communities, including the African American, Dominican, and Puerto Rican communities, to name just a few.

Backlash may be playing a role. So too is the tacit endorsement of anti-gay violence offered by the rabid anti-gay hate spewing from our elected officials. Still, we cannot forget that despite the 55 % of the American population that supports the freedom to marry, there are thousands of towns, large and small, where walking-while-gay is an invitation to violence.

CONTINUED, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Mourning Mark Carson and Responding to Anti-Gay Violence" »


Gay Man's Killer Charged With Murder as a Hate Crime, Laughed as He Confessed

Murdersite

The killer of a gay man in NYC's Greenwich Village early Saturday has been charged, the WSJ reports:

Elliot Morales was charged with murder as a hate crime and weapons charges after he allegedly volleyed antigay slurs at Mark Carson before shooting him once, point blank, in the head, police said.

Mr. Morales, who has a criminal history that includes several stints of incarceration, was arraigned Sunday in Manhattan Criminal Court and remanded to prison. He wasn’t required to enter a plea. His court-appointed attorney couldn’t be reached for comment. Being charged with murder as hate crime means he could face a harsher sentence if convicted.

“It’s clear that the victim here was killed only because and just because he was thought to be gay,” New York Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said during a news conference on Sunday. “There is no question about that. There were these derogatory remarks. The victim did nothing to antagonize or instigate the shooter in this case. It’s only done because the shooter believed him to be gay.”

Morales "laughed in hideous glee as he confessed," the NYDN reports.

As we noted yesterday, there is an anti-violence rally and march TONIGHT which begins at 5:30 pm at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center (208 w. 13th Street), ending at the site of the murder on W. 8th street and Sixth Avenue.


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