On Tuesday, the retrial began of one of the men accused in the vicious December 2008 beating death of an Ecuadorean immigrant mistakenly believed to be gay. And on Thursday, defendant Keith Phoenix was already laughing at witness testimony, reports the New York Post.
"A man accused in the murder of an Ecuadorian immigrant he thought was gay laughed during his retrial yesterday when a witness described the way the victim walked down a Brooklyn street with his brother before the heinous attack. Keith Phoenix, 30, chuckled when his cousin, Demetrius Nathaniel, told jurors about the moment before the Dec. 7, 2008, attack. 'They looked like a married couple,' Nathaniel said. 'You know, they were arm-in-arm.' Phoenix, whose last trial for murder as a hate crime ended in a hung jury, laughed and appeared to say, 'Stupid, man. He's stupid.' He drew a swift rebuke from Judge Patricia DiMango."
In April, you may recall that 19-year-old Demetrius Nathaniel told jurors he watched from the back seat of an SUV as his cousin repeatedly hit Jose Sucuzhañay over the head, back and ribs with an aluminum baseball bat. Nathaniel testified that he heard "the sounds of bones breaking."
Maybe it's all a joke to Keith Phoenix. Only minutes after the beating, the accused murderer was also caught laughing on a traffic camera.
Phoenix's first trial ended in a mistrial on May 12 after one juror refused to continue deliberations. Despite numerous witnesses hearing both men use anti-gay slurs during the beating, Hakim Scott was acquitted of murder and hate crime charges. Scott was convicted of manslaughter and attempted assault.
Rod 2.0's complete coverage HERE.