The latest in the Brooklyn, New York trial of two men accused in the December 2008 beating death of an Ecuadorean immigrant mistakenly believed to be gay. Keith Phoenix (left) and Hakim Scott are accused of jumping from their SUV to beat Jose Sucuzhañay with a broken beer bottle and an aluminum baseball bat. And returning to finish the job.
A witness told jurors he heard a vicious anti-gay slur directed at Jose Sucuzhañay and his brother Romel. Then saw the bat and heard bones breaking, reports Gay City News.
"'I heard it make contact like a clunking noise, metal on bone,' said Kuson Nelson during April 27 testimony. Nelson, a building superintendent, was returning to his home in Brooklyn’s Bushwick section early in the morning on December 7 and had just parked his car on Bushwick Avenue. He saw two 'Hispanic gentlemen walking together... hugging each other, playing around, pushing each other.' Nelson then heard the driver of a car that was stopped at a red light at Bushwick and Kossuth Place say to the brothers,'Look at those two little faggot bitches right there.' The two men on the street appeared to shrug their shoulders as if questioning why they were being insulted, Nelson said. A passenger holding a bottle exited the car and “lunged toward the brothers,” he said. The driver got out, took a bat from the rear of the car, and twice hit one of the men on the street. Nelson did not see the blows connect."
Also: The medical examiner testified. It was not the broken bottle, Dr. Greenberg said, but the "brutal blows" to the head by the aluminum bat that killed Sucuzhañay.
Earlier this week, jurors "shook their heads in disgust" as they watched Phoenix and Scott's chilling videotaped statements to the NYPD. And last week, Phoenix's 19-year-old cousin told jurors he watched from the SUV's back as the two men beat Sucuzhañay to a pulp. Several other witnesses and a cab driver also recounted watching Phoenix mercilessly beat the man to a pulp.
Phoenix and Scott face charges of second-degree murder as a hate crime, manslaughter, assault and attempted assault. Both have plead not guilty and are being tried in the same courtroom by two different juries. They face life sentences if convicted. Rod 2.0's complete coverage HERE.