Over the weekend, new developments in the Michael Sandy murder and robbery trial which saw two convictions on mixed verdicts in the past two weeks. On Sunday, "nearly 100 people turned out for the vigil" to honor the life of the late gay black man who was lured to a remote parking lot off the Brooklyn's Belt Parkway on October 8, 2006. (Complete case HERE.) Four young men trolled the Adam4Adam message board for potential victims, arranged the hook-up and then ambushed the Brooklyn interior designer, robbing him and chasing him into traffic. Sandy was hit by an SUV and died days later.
The vigil took place at Plumb Beach, the scene of the vicious crime. The Daily News reports, "Michael Sandy's mother, Denise Sandy, 53, said she hopes her son's death is the last of its kind. 'Justice is being done and I'm thankful for that,' she said. 'We don't want this tragedy to happen to anybody else again.' " The New York Times adds this is only the second time that Mrs. Sandy visited the location and she says, "Just to go back into that atmosphere was very unpleasant; there was a heaviness there, to actually go to see where my son died."
The Sandy case and its two convictions have renewed interest in the Belt Parkway rest area. On the same day as the vigil, The New York Times visited the beach and the parking lot, described as "a convenient place where older men could arrange sexual assignations with other men." Reporters interviewed an older man in a sedan "that had been parked for 35 minutes" who insisted he was not cruising. "Still, when a younger man in a gray hooded sweatshirt approached the white sedan, the two men talked for several minutes and exchanged cigarettes. It is unclear what happened, but both left soon after."
From vigils to cruising to the five days of jury deliberations in the conviction of Anthony Fortunato, who hoped to fend off gay-bashing charges by telling a jury that he is also gay. Gay City News has an excellent report on the deliberations where jurors report they "all believed that he is gay" after the defense called several gay and bisexual men who tricked with Fortunato. "It was incredibly hard and I know that the other jurors felt a lot of sympathy for Anthony Fortunato," the second juror says. "No one thought he was a bad kid."
"Not a bad kid." Hopefully the jurors had as much sympathy for Michael Sandy and his family.
Complete Michael Sandy coverage HERE.
"Gay" Defense Fails in Michael Sandy Trial [R20]
First Conviction in the Michael Sandy Trial [R20]
News: Florida Dems, Michael Sandy [R20]
Don't Lock Me Up I'm Gay [Keith Boykin]
Michael Sandy Murder Suspects in Court [R20]
Murder Suspect: He Only "Arranged" the Crime [R20]
Bail for Sandy Murder Suspect? [R20]
Killer Took a Nap After Brutal Gay Bashing [R20]
Charges Upgraded in Sandy Case [R20]
Michael Sandy Taken Off Ventilator [R20]
Four Arrested in Internet Set-Up [R20]
Brooklyn Gay Bashing Update [R20]
Gay Man Beaten in Vicious Attack? [R20]