NEW YORK — The former convict accused of fatally shooting a gay man in New York City’s West Village in 2013 will represent himself at trial.
Elliot Morales, 34, is charged with murder as a hate crime in the murder of Mark Carson, 32, in Greenwich Village on May 18, 2013.
Court papers indicate Morales allegedly shouted, “Look at these faggots” before shooting Carson as he walked with a companion in Morales’ neighborhood in lower Manhattan.
The New York Post reports that Morales, who is on his fourth attorney, has lobbied Justice Charles Solomon for weeks to represent himself.
“Representing yourself is dangerous – you’re not trained as a lawyer,” warned Solomon, before reluctantly granted Morales’ request.
Morales insisted he’d do a better job than the court-appointed attorneys he’s kicked off his case, declaring he had been studying law since November. “I’m taking paralegal courses,” he said.