Morales Fatally Shot Victim Following Homophobic Rant
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the sentencing of ELLIOT MORALES, 36, to 40 years-to-life in state prison for the hate crime murder of 32-year-old Mark Carson in Greenwich Village in 2013. On March 9, 2016, the defendant was convicted by a New York State Supreme Court jury of all the charges in the indictment against him, including Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second and Third Degrees, Menacing a Police Officer, and Menacing in the Second Degree.
“Any life lost to gun violence is a tragedy for our City,” said District Attorney Vance. “But homophobic, hate-fueled incidents like this one are particularly unconscionable. 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. We must never allow violence and hate to undermine the progress we have made as a city, a state, and a nation. 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. I hope that this sentence provides some measure of comfort to the victim’s loved ones.”
As proven at trial, late in the evening on May 17, 2013, MORALES urinated outside of a restaurant on Barrow Street in Greenwich Village. After an employee of the restaurant rebuked the defendant, MORALES followed the employee into the restaurant, approached several individuals at the restaurant’s bar, and made threatening remarks while displaying a .38-caliber revolver.
Shortly thereafter, just after midnight in the early morning hours of May 18, MORALES left the restaurant and passed Mark Carson and another man – Carson’s childhood best friend – on the street near Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street. As he passed the pair, the defendant made homophobic comments. After the pair walked around the corner on to West 8th Street, the defendant yelled additional anti-gay slurs at them. Near the corner, MORALES removed a .38 Taurus revolver, pointed it at the victim, and shot the victim once in the face, causing the victim to suffer fatal brain damage.
MORALES fled the scene. Minutes later, he was identified by an NYPD officer on West 3rdStreet, who ordered MORALES to stop. Instead, the defendant crouched down, withdrew the same handgun he had used earlier in the evening, and pointed it at the officer, who bravely subdued MORALES when the defendant momentarily fumbled his gun.
Assistant District Attorneys Shannon Lucey and Peter Casolaro handled the prosecution of the case, under the supervision of Executive Assistant District Attorney John Irwin, Chief of the Trial Division. Assistant District Attorney Joan Illuzzi, Special Counsel to the District Attorney, provided additional assistance with the case.
District Attorney Vance also thanked the NYPD for its work on the case, especially Detective Kelly Wheeler of the 6th Precinct Detective Squad and Police Officer Henry Huot of Patrol Borough Manhattan South.