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Three charged with hate crimes in New York City gay man's death

Three charged with hate crimes in New York City gay man's death

Three men have been charged with a hate crime murder of a gay man.

Three men have been indicted on hate-crime charges in the death of a gay man who was attacked alongside a parkway and then hit by a car while trying to escape, prosecutors said Wednesday. Michael Sandy, 29, died five days after the October 13 attack when he was taken off life support. Anthony Fortunato, 20, was indicted Wednesday after the indictments last week of John Fox, 19, and Ilya Shurov, 20. They were charged with numerous counts, including second-degree murder as a hate crime and first-degree attempted robbery as a hate crime, Brooklyn, N.Y., district attorney Charles Hynes said. If convicted, they each could serve 25 years to life in prison. Prosecutors said the defendants met Sandy in an online gay chat room and arranged to meet him at a popular spot for gay men seeking sexual encounters. They intended to rob Sandy, prosecutors said, but when one of the defendants punched him, he ran onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by a car. A lawyer for Fox, Philip Smallman, said his client didn't attack Sandy. Fox's father said he couldn't imagine that his son was involved in such an attack. "He never did anything like that before, so why would he be rabidly antigay?" John Fox Sr. said. A lawyer for Fortunato, Joseph Mure, did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment Wednesday. There was no telephone listing for a Shurov in Brooklyn. (AP)

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