Indictment unsealed in murder of immigrant

BROOKLYN - Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes unsealed Tuesday a grand jury indictment against two suspects in the deadly beating of an Ecuadorean immigrant in Brooklyn.

Hakeem Scott and Keith Phoenix were arrested last week and charged with second-degree murder as hate crime and a slew of additional charges in the death of Jose Sucuzhanay.

According to Hynes, Phoenix and Scott were driving on the night of Dec. 7 in Bushwick when they spotted Sucuzhanay and his brother walking arm-in-arm to stay warm. That is when, Hynes says, the suspects pulled over and attacked Sucuzhanay with an aluminum bat because they thought the brothers were gay.

The district attorney says Phoenix was about to return to the vehicle when he noticed Sucuzhanay was still moving, so he continued beating the man.

"The tragedy, which is a result of a violent and vicious murder, is made all the more serious when the motive is rooted in the hatred of gay people and of immigrants," Hynes says.

Scott and Phoenix are facing 78 years to life behind bars, if convicted.

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