The Michael Sandy murder trial took yet another twist yesterday. One of the defendants accused of attacking the New York designer claims he lured Sandy to Beltway Parkway to get lucky, not bloody.
21-year old Anthony Fortunato and his lawyer argue that Fortunato joined his three fiendish friends that fateful night to come out. In his opening statements, Fortunato’s defense attorney Gerald DiChiara told the Brooklyn court,
The stakes in this case are too high for him to keep this a secret any longer…He’d been leading a secret life through the Internet, meeting men and having sex with them.
Fortunato allegedly hatched the scheme to get Sandy to an isolate place, where he hoped to smoke pot, gauge his chums’ reactions and then come out to his friends.
Fortunato had apparently approached Sandy earlier in that October, 2006 day. Sandy arrived for their tryst, to which another alleged killer, John Fox, also appeared. Sandy freaked and left, but Fortunato’s online chatting convinced him to reemerge.
Once there, Sandy met up with Fox, who told him to drive to Plumb Beach, where Fortunato and two other defendants lay in wait. Once Sandy stepped out of the car, they sprung, beat Sandy, who ran into traffic, where a still unidentified car struck him. His family took him off the ventilator later that month.
Fortunato insists, however, he only wanted to talk. Some wonder if he’s playing the gay card to avoid a hate crime sentencing. Of course, this could always be a self-hate crime.