A New York man on trial for shooting another man in the head while screaming antigay epithets at him insists the killing was not a hate crime but rather just a good, old-fashioned murder. And to prove he’s not a bigot, he made love to a trans woman.
36-year-old Elliot Morales (pictured) is acting as his own lawyer as he fights charges of second-degree murder as a hate crime, menacing a police officer and weapons possession.
The murder happened in the early morning hours of May 18, 2013. 32-year-old Mark Carson was gunned down by Morales outside of a bar in Greenwich Village. Just before killing him, Morales called Carson a “faggot” then asked if he wanted to die. Moments later, he lodged a .38-caliber into the man’s brain before casually walking away.
When police located Morales and arrested him, he told them: “I fucking shot him dead! Diagnosis dead, doctor! They don’t teach you that in the academy, right?”
Three years later, Morales is finally getting his day in court. For his first character witness, he invited his alleged ex-lover, a 38-year-old trans woman, to testify on his behalf.
The woman spoke under the pseudonym Jane Smith and remained hidden from jurors behind a curtain while she talked openly about her 10 year on-again-off-again relationship with Morales.
Morales, speaking in the third person, asked the woman: “In your experience and personal knowledge, do you believe Elliot Morales is a person who hates gays?”
“Absolutely not,” she replied.
When asked how she first met Morales, the woman replied that they connected on a dating site and that she was open with him about her being trans from the get-go.
Earlier in the day, Morales told Justice Kirke Bartley, “I’m not a bigot of any type. I don’t hate anyone. Not gays, lesbians, none of that. This is not a hate crime. This was not an intentional murder.”
If convicted, Morales faces 30 to life in prison.
The trial continues.
h/t: New York Post