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The New York Daily News reports that the parents of slain Brooklyn designer Michael Sandy “wept silently” as a crowded courtroom watched videotaped confessions from their son’s young killers, John Fox, Ilya Shurov,and Anthony Fortunato.
Last October, the three men, along with 16-year-old Gary Timmins, who has yet to be charged, lured Sandy via an internet chat room to a parking lot on the Belt Parkway where he was robbed, and, following a scuffle, forced into oncoming traffic. He was then hit by a car and sustained injuries that would keep him in a coma until his family later made the choice to remove him from life support. Sandy died October 13.
According to the New York Times: “They said they dragged the gay man off the road and searched his pockets for money and drugs but his pockets were empty…Prosecutors said they chose their victim because they thought gay men were weak and afraid.”
John Fox (pictured, from October) was first to appear on screen: “Mr. Fox said that Mr. Fortunato had lured the victim to an area near Plumb Beach. There, Mr. Fox told the victim to drive to the beach while the others waited in ambush. ‘He asked what it was, and I told him it was a gay beach,’ Mr. Fox said. ‘I told him the gay beach was a place where gay people have sex and stuff.’ At the beach, Mr. Fox said, Mr. Shurov punched Mr. Sandy and chased him into traffic. ‘He just was right down on the ground,’ Mr. Fox said, ‘and he didn’t move.'”
The tapes were played so the judge could determine whether they would be admissible at trial.
In Shurov’s tape, the 20-year-old apologized to Sandy’s family: “We weren’t trying to hurt him. We just wanted some money. I didn’t intend for him to get hit by a car. I was just drinking and my friends got me involved. I apologize to the family. I know saying words won’t help the family. I’m really sorry.”
Sandy’s mother said she accepted the apology: “We’ve got to be forgiving.”
The young men could face 20 years behind bars if convicted.