Fifteen-years-to-life with at least 23-years behind bars. That's the sentence 19-year Omar Willock was handed down for calling a young black gay Brooklyn man a "faggot" and stabbing him to death.
Willock and 20-year-old Roberto Duncanson encountered each other on the street in Crown Heights, Brooklyn early in the morning of May 12, 2007. Willock claimed Duncanson looked at him suggestively and flirted with him, so he called him a "faggot." Duncanson yelled back at him and continued walking. Willock followed for several blocks, yelled anti-gay and homophobic epithets and fatally stabbed him. Willock was convicted of second degree murder in May 2009.
Gay City News reports the killer lacked remorse at Monday's sentencing: "In asking for 25-to-life, the maximum sentence, Howard Jackson, the prosecutor in the case, noted that Willock had pursued Duncanson. 'The victim in this case walked away,” Jackson said. 'Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for this defendant." With his hands cuffed behind him, Willock stood stoically throughout the proceeding. Asked if he would like to speak, Willock made brief, mostly inaudible comments. He motioned toward Duncanson’s mother and said, 'I feel sorry for the people.' "
Roberto Duncanson, nicknamed "Pancho", was out to coworkers and close friends but not his mother or family. In an interview shortly after he was killed, his mother said he was a loving son with "the heart of a lion."
Willock had been charged with murder as a hate crime which would have meant and automatic life sentence. The hate crime charges were dropped in March 2009 because the prosecution’s main witness, Belinda Toon, who saw the entire altercation and called police, "gave testimony that was less detailed than what she told a grand jury.... [Prosecutors] say Toon has been 'the subject of constant threats, harassment, and taunting about being a snitch,' Jackson said.""
Some Background ...
Guilty Verdict in Murder of Black Gay Brooklyn Man [R20]
Brooklyn Murder Trial Goes to Jury [R20]
Trial Begins in Brooklyn Gay Hate Crime Murder [R20]