BROOKLYN - A defendant accused in a fatal Bushwick hate crime repeatedly struck his victim with a baseball bat in 2008, the defendant's cousin said in testimony yesterday.

Demetrius Nathaniel, 19, claims that his cousin, Keith Phoenix, attacked Jose Sucuzhanay with a baseball bat on Dec. 7, 2008. Nathaniel said Hakim Scott, who is also facing charges of murder and assault as a hate crime, struck Sucuzhanay over the head with a bottle.

Prosecutors say Sucuzhanay and his brother were attacked because Scott and Phoenix thought they were gay.

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