- The Washington Times - Friday, March 20, 2009

NEW YORK (AP) - Two men have pleaded not guilty in the hate-crime killing of an Ecuadorean immigrant on a Brooklyn street.

Hakim Scott and Keith Phoenix were arraigned on an indictment that includes second-degree murder as a hate crime. They could face 78 years in prison if convicted.

Jose Sucuzhanay (Suh-KOO’-chen-eye) and his brother were attacked Dec. 7 as they walked arm-in-arm to keep warm. The attackers shouted anti-Hispanic and anti-gay slurs.

On Friday, the judge issued an order of protection for the surviving brother, Romel Sucuzhanay.

He and a third brother, Diego, were present but did not comment.

Supporters for the defendants also were in court. As Phoenix was led away, one of them yelled: “Beautiful boy!”



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