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Quinn Says Manslaughter Verdict in Sucuzhanay Killing Sets a Bad Precedent

Saturday, May 08, 2010

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn says she's disappointed about this week's manslaughter conviction of one of two men charged in the killing of Jose Sucuzhanay.

REPORTER: The Ecuadorean immigrant was beaten to death after walking arm in arm with his brother in Brooklyn in December, 2008. Quinn says the verdict sets a bad precedent.

QUINN: The fact that this jury didn't get it right and clearly the fact that this hate crime occurred at all sends a clear message that we have more work to do in this city.

REPORTER: Hakim Scott was acquitted of hate crime charges, which likely would've resulted in a harsher sentence. Prosecutors say he and Keith Phoenix yelled racial and anti-gay slurs at the brothers and crushed Sucuzhanay's skull with an aluminum baseball bat.

Because the two defendants implicated each other, a separate jury is considering the fate of Phoenix. Jurors on Friday asked to take another look at his videotaped statement to police, in which he said he said he acted in self-defense because he feared Sucuzhanay was reaching for a weapon.

Deliberations resume Monday.

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