Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the trial conviction of ELLIOT MORALES, 36, for shooting and killing 32-year-old Mark Carson in May 2013. A New York State Supreme Court jury found the defendant guilty of all of the counts in the indictment against him: 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. The defendant is expected to be sentenced on April 11, 2016.
“Gun violence and the hate that fuels it have no place in New York City,” said District Attorney Vance. “Motivated by irrational rage, the defendant targeted and executed a defenseless young man based on his sexual orientation after taunting and insulting the victim and his companion. Elliot Morales’s hateful and destructive rampage may not have stopped there, if not for the intervention of a brave NYPD officer. When those intent on doing harm have access to guns, any situation can escalate to deadly levels in a matter of seconds, and I thank the jury for their service and recognition of this heinous crime.”
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 a restaurant employee rebuked the defendant, MORALES followed the employee into the restaurant, approached several individuals at the bar, and made threatening remarks while displaying a .38-caliber revolver.
Shortly thereafter, just after 12 a.m. in the early morning hours of May 18th, MORALES left the restaurant and passed Mark Carson and the victim’s childhood best friend on the street near Sixth Avenue and West 8th Street. As he passed the pair, the defendant made homophobic and degrading comments, and continued along West 8th Street making additional derogatory remarks. 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 3rd Street, 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 was able to subdue MORALES when the defendant momentarily fumbled with the 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 valuable assistance with this 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.
ELLIOT MORALES, D.O.B. 1/3/1980
New York, NY
- Murder in the Second Degree as a Hate Crime, a class A felony, 1 count
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Second Degree, a class C felony, 4 counts
- Menacing a Police Officer, a class D felony, 1 count
- Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, a class D felony, 1 count
- Menacing in the Second Degree, a class A misdemeanor, 1 count