Last week, the retrial began of Keith Phoenix, one of the men accused in the vicious December 2008 beating death of an Ecuadorean immigrant mistakenly believed to be gay. And yesterday: The Brooklyn jurors were "transfixed" as they watched the killer's videotaped confession where he admitted to beating Jose Sucuzhañay to a pulp with an aluminum baseball bat, reports the New York Post.
" 'First I hit him here,' said Phoenix pointing to his chest. 'And he fell. The guy was trying to get back up and I hit him four times and when he tried to get back up I hit him two times up here,' he said, pointing to his head. Phoenix watched it on the courtroom monitor yesterday with the same calm that he delivered it to prosecutors on Feb. 27, 2009."
" 'So I killed somebody. Does that make me a bad person?' is the statement Phoenix allegedly made to Det. William Gonzalez of the Bronx on Feb. 27, after Phoenix was tracked to a residence in Yonkers. ... Defense attorney Philip Smallman took issue with the “Does that make me a bad person” statement Tuesday during cross-examination of Det. Gonzalez. 'He, like magic, according to you, just blurted this out' Smallman asked. The detective said yes, testifying that he made no comments to Phoenix during the arrest, except to identify himself as police and to tell Phoenix to put his hands up."
Last week, Phoenix was reprimanded by Judge Patricia DiMango after laughing during eyewitness testimony. The witness was 19-year-old cousin Demetrius Nathaniel, who 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 the aluminum baseball bat.
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.