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Court hears
confessions in Sandy slaying

Court hears
confessions in Sandy slaying

A judge Tuesday weighed whether the taped confessions of three New Yorkers accused in the ambush and death of gay Brooklynite Michael Sandy are admissible in court.

John Fox, Ilya "Alex" Shurov, and Anthony Fortunato, all 20, are charged with murder as a hate crime in the October 8 incident. In videotaped statements played Tuesday in state supreme court in Brooklyn, the defendants said they meant only to rob Sandy and blamed each other for the killing, The New York Times reported.

A fourth man, Gary Timmins, is cooperating with prosecutors and has not been charged.

The three defendants face 20 years behind bars if convicted, the New York Daily News reported. No trial date has been set.

On tape, Fox said Fortunato lured Sandy, via a gay Web site, to a remote parking lot in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, where the trio attacked and attempted to rob him, the Times reported.

"He asked what it was, and I told him it was a gay beach...where gay people have sex and stuff," the Times quoted Fox's video as saying.

"Alex came running out and hit him," the Daily News quoted him as saying. "The guy screamed and ran for his car.... Alex chased him and dragged him out."

Shurov told police he chased Sandy onto the Belt Parkway, where he was struck by an oncoming vehicle. The driver fled and has yet to come forward.

Sandy, 29, a designer for Ikea, was removed from life support October 13 and died with family and friends beside him.

"I apologize to his family; I know my words can't help, but I'm just really sorry for what happened," Shurov said in his statement.

Sandy's mother, Denise, watching in court with her husband, Ezekiel, and their son's friends, told the Times she accepted the apology. (Barbara Wilcox, The Advocate)

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