On Tuesday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. announced that Elliot Morales, 36, convicted of the 2013 murder of 32-year-old Mark Carson, has received a sentence of 40 years to life in prison.
On May 17, 2013, after being rebuked for urinating outside a Barrow Street restaurant, Morales entered the establishment while displaying a .38-calibur revolver and made threatening remarks, the district attorney’s office reported.
Morales left the restaurant and passed Mark Carson walking on the street with his childhood friend, the DA added. As he passed the pair, Morales yelled homophobic comments before shooting the victim in the face, causing fatal brain damage.
“Homophobic, hate-fueled incidents like this one are particularly unconscionable,” DA Vance stated. “As we mourn the lives lost in Orlando, we remain committed to doing everything we can to combat and prevent crimes against LGBT New Yorkers.”
After the shooting, Morales fled the scene but was apprehended by an NYPD officer who subdued the gunman as he brandished the same handgun he used earlier, the DA added.
Morales was convicted on March 9, 2016, of second-degree murder as a hate crime, weapon possession and menacing, according to the DA. His 40-years-to-life sentence will be served in state prison.
“New Yorkers of all sexual orientations and gender expressions have an inviolable right to walk safely through our communities without being taunted, shot or killed,” Vance stated. “I hope that this sentence provides some measure of comfort to the victim’s loved ones.”