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Attorneys for a man on trial for strangling another man during sex say the crime was accidental.
Gay City Newsreports that Davawn Robinson, 24, told New York police that he met Edgard Mercado, 39, at a West Village gay bar in 2009 and the two went back to Mercado's apartment, where they partied with alcohol and cocaine. A rope was produced, Robinson feared for his life, and Mercado ended up dead.
"The last moments of [Mercado's] life were spent futilely gasping for air," assistant district attorney John A. McConnell told the jury in his opening statement Monday. "The evidence will show that it was this man, Davawn Robinson, who killed him."
In an unusual move, Robinson's lawyers declined to make an opening statement.
Robinson faces a charge of second-degree murder. And while his attorneys concede that their client caused Mercado's death, they say the death may have been a case of autoerotic asphyxiation gone too far.
The prosecutor, however, told the jury they would hear from a representative from the medical examiner's office, whose description of the crushing force used to end Mercado's life and the duration of the act will prove this was no accident.
Mercado, who was studying a Brazilian form of dance and martial arts known as capoeira, was choked with the belt from his capoeira outfit. His hands were bound with rope.
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