Hate Crime Charge
Tossed in Brooklyn Murder Case

As closing arguments
take place in the trial of Omar Willock, the accused killer of
gay 20-year-old Roberto Duncanson (pictured), the case's
judge tossed the hate crime charge against Willock, according
to New York's

Gay City News

.

Willock's defense
team was pushing for the charge to be dropped, which would have
increased the minimum prison he faced if convicted. Now, if
found guilty, Willock could be charged with second-degree
murder or first-degree manslaughter. Judge Neil Firetog removed
the charge, saying, "I've decided as a matter of law
the hate crime case is not made out. I think it was a
contributing factor, but under the law it has to be a
substantial factor."

A jury is deciding
whether it was Willock or his twin brother, Omari Willock, who
murdered Duncanson, who was stabbed to death in Brooklyn's
Crown Heights neighborhood in 2007. Testimony hinges on that of
Belinda Toon, who identified Omar Willock as the man who argued
with Duncanson just after midnight on May
12. Allegedly, Willock repeatedly called Duncason a
"faggot" as he followed him down St. Marks Avenue.
The two came to blows before Duncanson was stabbed four times
in the back, and later died at Kings County Hospital.

Tags: World, World

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