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Fourth Sandy
Attacker Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Attempted Robbery

Fourth Sandy
Attacker Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter, Attempted Robbery

The last of four men charged with plotting to rob a gay Brooklyn man and causing his traffic-related death pleaded guilty on Monday to manslaughter and attempted robbery as hate crimes, according to The New York Times. Ilya Shurov, 21, agreed to serve 17-1/2 years in prison. Prosecutors, in return, dropped charges of felony murder as a hate crime, an offense that can be punished with a life sentence. "If there was no life sentence, we would have rolled the dice," defense attorney Hermann P. Walz told the Times.

The last of four men charged with plotting to rob a gay Brooklyn man and causing his traffic-related death pleaded guilty on Monday to manslaughter and attempted robbery as hate crimes, according to The New York Times.

Ilya Shurov, 21, agreed to serve 17-1/2 years in prison. Prosecutors, in return, dropped charges of felony murder as a hate crime, an offense that can be punished with a life sentence.

"If there were no life sentence, we would have rolled the dice," defense attorney Hermann P. Walz told the Times.

Shurov and three other young men -- Gary Timmins, John Fox, and Anthony Fortunato -- were accused of luring 29-year-old Michael J. Sandy into an isolated lot on October 8, 2006. After he was beaten, Sandy fled into parkway traffic. A car struck him, and he later died of his injuries.

Of the four men, only Shurov was charged with an act of physical violence. In an earlier trial, witnesses said Shurov hid behind a sand dune, jumped out at Sandy, and proceeded to punch him.

Defense attorneys argued in pretrial hearings that their clients' actions were not hot crimes because they harbored no animosity toward gays.

"[Shurov] might have had a reasonable chance of beating the hate crime, but he had less of a chance of beating felony murder," Walz told the Times. "He's definitely culpable of the actual death. His actions, more than anybody else's, caused this person to die." (The Advocate)

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