Fortunato and two of his friends – John Fox and Ilya Shurov – stand accused of luring Sandy to a Beltway Parkway, attempting to rob him and administering a beating that led to Sandy’s death. All three men face hate crime charges.
Fortunato’s lawyer, however, contends that the 21-year old wasn’t motivated by hate, but by lust. Fortunato’s alleged homosexuality came up earlier in the trial, but got hung out during yesterday’s proceedings. When asked to describe his sexuality, Fortunato told the court, I don’t know. I could be homosexual. A homosexual. Bisexual.” He went on to say, “I was living two complete double lives.”
In addition to grilling Fortunato, defense attorney Gerald J. Di Chiara also called a number of Fortunato’s sexual partners, three of whom say they’ve had sex with the Brooklyn-native. And, what’s more, Fortunato reportedly showed up wearing bra and panties.
Fortunato and his defense team claim the Brooklyn-native wanted to get high and fool around with Sandy, but his friends wanted to play robber. Upon getting there, however, Fortunato grew uncomfortable. He told the jury, “I was scared. I didn’t want nothing to do with them so I turned and walked calmly down the beach.” It’s John Fox and Ilya Shurov who should take most of the blame, he said, particularly Shurov, who allegedly “went crazy” on Sandy.
Fox met Sandy near Fortunato’s home, where the plan had been hatched, while the other three went ahead to the beach. Fox signaled with a cell phone call what the next step would be.
“I took this as Fox’s indication that there was enough weed for all of us to smoke,” Fortunato said. He also told the others, “Don’t do anything that we didn’t discuss and they agreed to that.”
When they saw Fox and Sandy on the beach, Shurov “went crazy,” Fortunato said.
[Gary Timmins] testified earlier that Shurov punched Sandy, who responded by running to his car, with Shurov and Fox in pursuit. Shurov then pulled Sandy from his car. The two continued chasing Sandy, Timmins said. Another prosecution witness said she saw Fox and Shurov on the highway attacking Sandy right before he was hit by a car.
The trial continues – and so will the twists, we’re sure.