NEW YORK – Authorities say six New York City teenagers have been charged with murder as a hate crime in the beating and stomping of an 18-year-old perceived to be gay.
Anthony Collao of Bethpage on Long Island was attacked in March while leaving a birthday party in Woodhaven, Queens.
Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown said Thursday the defendants were each charged in a 21-count indictment that includes second-degree murder as a hate crime. Brown said the charges were upgraded after new evidence from witnesses.
Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said previously that the suspects made "homophobic remarks" and scrawled on a wall with red markers after crashing the party.
The defendants could face up to 25 years to life in prison if convicted.