Plumb Beach Killer Challenges Jail Sentence

One of the four thugs that played a role in the 2006 murder of a gay man at Plumb Beach is seeking to overturn his conviction.

According to Gay City News:

Arguing that his lawyer was ineffective and the judge in the case gave the jury insufficient instructions on an intoxication defense, John Fox is seeking to overturn his convictions for manslaughter and attempted robbery as hate crimes in the 2006 killing of Michael Sandy.
Fox, 22, was tried with Anthony Fortunato, 23, though they had separate juries. When testimony was offered that concerned only one defendant and could prejudice the case against the other, the second defendant’s jury was excluded from the courtroom.
The issue in the appeal is whether Fox’s lawyer, John D. Patten, erred when he did not object to Fox’s jury being excluded when Fortunato testified in his own defense.

But it appears the judge, who held a hearing December 4, isn’t buying it:

[The judge] listed four instances in Fortunato’s testimony that would have aided the prosecutor, and asked [Norman Olch, the attorney handling Fox’s appeal], “Can you stand there and tell me that testimony would have helped Mr. Fox?” When Olch replied affirmatively, Konviser said, “You’re kidding, right?”

Fox and Fortunato, along with Ilya Shurov and Gary Timmons, were accused of using websites to lure Michael Sandy to Plumb Beach, supposedly for gay sex. But when Sandy arrived the four men began rummaging through his car. According to witnesses, Shurov dragged Sandy out of the car and began hitting him. When Sandy attempted to escape, he ran onto the Belt Parkway. His pursuers caught him in the left lane and hit him again, knocking him into the center lane where he was struck by a car. They allegedly dragged him from the road and searched his pockets.

Sandy remained in a vegetative state for five days before his family removed life support. He died on October 13, 2006. [Read more about the case]

Local leaders began touting the Sandy case as an example of the need for more security at Plumb Beach. While Parks Department balked, shrugging off the responsibility to other agencies overlooking the area, the 61st Precinct took it upon itself to begin locking up the lot at night.

This summer, just two years later, reported that the 61st Precinct has moved on, and the lot remains open 24 hours.


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