Two New York men that confessed to killing a man with a baseball bat for being gay have been sentenced to prison.
30-year-old Keith Phoenix admitted to police that he killed 31-year-old José O. Sucuzhañay, an Ecuadorean immigrant, after seeing him out with his brother and suspecting that they were a couple.
Along with Phoenix, jurors convicted 27-year-old Hakim Scott, who joined him in taunting the men with antigay slurs before jumping out of an SUV and attacking them.
According to the prosecution Jose and his brother Romel Sucuzhañay were walking home arm in arm after leaving a church party and stopping at a local bar when they were spotted by Phoenix and Scott at a traffic light.
The defendants hurled slurs at the brothers, who were also accompanied by José‘s girlfriend ,and one of the brothers reportedly kicked Phoenix’s sport utility vehicle.
Police say a then enraged Hakim Scott jumped out of the car and broke a beer bottle over José‘s head before chasing after his brother Romel with the broken glass.
While Jose lay on the ground, Phoenix admitted to grabbing an aluminum baseball bat out of his trunk and beating the man.
During his confession to police Phoenix was quoted saying,
“So I killed someone — that makes me a bad guy?”
Keith Phoenix was sentenced to 37 years to life for murder and assault while Hakim Scott was convicted 37 for of manslaughter and assault.