Thanks to Andy Towle for the heads up last week while we were off. On Tuesday, the three young men convicted in the brutal robbery and hate crime killing of Michael Sandy will be sentenced and already the court has received numerous letters and pleas for leniency.Gay City News reports the judge has received at least ten letters "seeking lenient treatment" for Anthony Fortunato, the baby-faced killer who hoped to fend off gay-bashing charges by telling a jury that he is also gay.
The most impassioned plea is said to be a " five-page letter" from the jury foreman, previously mentioned on Rod 2.0, who "renounc[ed] his decision to convict the 21-year-old Brooklyn man. 'I never, at any time, believed, stated or wanted to vote that Anthony Fortunato was guilty of manslaughter two, much less a hate crime,' wrote Eric Zaccar, 46, a playwright, in a letter to [Judge] Jill Konviser."
Gay City News adds, "Other letters seeking leniency came from Di Chiara, Fortunato's mother and other relatives, a professor and the dean of students at St. Francis College, where Fortunato was once a student, from the head of a Brooklyn recreational facility, and from State Senator John L. Sampson who wrote that he had known the Fortunato family for many years'... on his official stationary."
UPDATE: Jury Foreman Zaccar parses semantics at GCN for describing Anthony Fortunato—convicted of manslaughter—as a convicted killer. "Anthony didn’t throw a punch, he didn’t steal anything, he wasn’t in the vicinity when Michael Sandy was attacked, he knew that no one with him carryied [sic] any weapons, he had no malicious intentions that were proven, and he even went as far as telling his potentially volatile friend, Gary Timmins, to make sure that nothing violent happened. Since Anthony was quickly acquitted of all murder and robbery charges, I’d say that referring to him as one of the “killers” is just a bit of a stretch."
It's only a "bit of a stretch" to call someone a killer when they lure a gay man from an Internet chatroom, encourage and watch their friends to rob, beat, and chase him into a freeway, and, leave him to die in traffic. Perhaps Anthony Fortunato should be called a convicted manslaughterer?
Complete MICHAEL SANDY coverage.
Michael Sandy's ("Gay") Convicted Killer Describes the Homicide [R20]
"Gay" Defense Fails in Michael Sandy Trial [R20]
Don't Lock Me Up I'm Gay [Keith Boykin]
Letters of Support in For Sandy's Killer [Towleroad]
First Conviction in the Michael Sandy Trial [R20]
News: Florida Dems, Michael Sandy [R20]
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]