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Defendants Dispute Hate Designation

Posted Jun 26, 2007 12:30 PM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Three men accused of a hate crime for targeting a gay man for a robbery say they shouldn’t be charged under the New York law because there was no hate involved.

Gerald J. Di Chiara, the lawyer for the defendants, says his clients didn’t dislike gays, Clyde Haberman writes in a column for the New York Times. They are accused of targeting the victim, Michael Sandy, in belief that a gay man wouldn’t put up a fight if they robbed him in search of money and drugs.

Sandy ran away from the men and was hit by a car. The defendants are charged with murder and murder as a hate crime.

Prosecutors say that making someone a target because of sexual orientation satisfies the law’s requirements. Judge Jill Konviser-Levine will rule in the dispute.

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