Later in the trial, Morales called to the stand a transgender woman given the pseudonym “Jane Smith,” who was shielded from the jury. Smith testified that she had a sexual relationship with Morales for years and that he never displayed ill will toward gays.
“Absolutely not,” she said. “Not that I recall.”
Taking the stand in his own defense, Morales said he had been drinking heavily before the shooting. He acknowledged arguing with Carson and Robinson but denied using gay slurs. He said he pulled his gun because he was afraid.
“I thought he was going to take something out and shoot me with it,” Morales testified. “I thought one or maybe both of them had a firearm. So I kind of raised the firearm and turned away and shot it at the same time.”
Carson was unarmed.
Delivering his final statement to the jury Thursday, Morales wept, pausing to sip water and collect himself.
Assistant District Attorney Shannon Lucey argued in her summation that Morales had issues with his own sexuality and was jealous that Carson and Robinson were openly gay.
Morales “has a lot of self-loathing issues,” she said. “They’re inside him and they came out when he saw Mark Carson and Danny Robinson be who they are in public.”
New York’s hate crime law doesn’t say attackers need to be of a different ethnicity or sexuality than their victim.
Morales faces 30 years to life in prison if convicted.
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