The Michael Sandy murder trial continues to take queer turns. Sandy died nearly a year ago after three Brooklyn men lured him to Belt Parkway. Once there, the men jumped Sandy, who ran into oncoming traffic, was struck and ended up on life support. His parents pulled the plug the day before his birthday.
The men in question – John Fox, Anthony Fortunato and Ilya Shurov – are charged with a hateful murder. Another accomplice, Gary Timmins, took a robbery plea and pointed the men out in court on Saturday. Fortunato, however, has become the sticky, suspicious center of the case. He and his lawyer claim the 21-year old shouldn’t be charged with a hate crime because Fortunato’s gay.
Fortunato even took the stand and confessed his closeted self. His story got some copper back up yesterday when an NYPD computer-crimes expert said he found gay porn on Fortunato’s computer. The NY Times explains:
During the cross-examination of a computer crimes detective, Mr. Fortunato’s lawyer put into evidence gay pornographic images recovered from his client’s e-mail account. The lawyer, Gerald J. Di Chiara, has said he hopes to show that because Mr. Fortunato is homosexual, he would be unlikely to single out a gay man to commit a crime against.
The same officer also found an email from gay cruising site, ManHunt.
In addition to those pictures, however, the officer, Christopher Wachholtz, also found pictures of naked women. Gay City News quotes the copper, “From what I recall there were a couple of images and numerous videos of men and women.” Of course, this isn’t that unusual. Even if Fortunato’s gay, he may still like to look at the ladies. Another testimony, however, also pokes holes through Fortunato’s defense.
Working on the side of the prosecution, 17-year old Richard Folio told the court that one day after the Sandy hit, he went to a diner with Fortunato and met the thug’s girl, named Donna. Using this fact as an access, prosecutor Anna-Sigga Nicolazzi suggested Fortunato used the naked men as tools in his robberies:
Nicolazzi has asserted that Fortunato used gay chatrooms to invite gay men to supposed sexual encounters at a local motel where he then stole their belongings when they used the bathroom. That activity could explain the e-mails with attached explicit photos of men.
Nicolazzi’s theory seems plausible, yes, but Folio also testified that he heard Fortunato talking about hooking up with Sandy.
As they sat in Fortunato’s backyard, Folio said the other two described using the chatroom, going to the first meeting that Sandy left, and using the promise of sex to try and get marijuana to smoke.
“They were going to put down the blanket and [Sandy] was going to give him head,” Folio said.
If Fortunato intended on using his body just to get pot…well, that’s not only sick, but it’s sad. Regardless, this story’s twisted, especially since the alleged killers laughed at a NY Post report on the crime. Headline? “”Left for dead in thug attack.”