CHICAGO (STMW) — A Cook County judge has found a 19-year-old man guilty in the beating death of a disabled Chicago man — a brutal crime captured on videotape and then posted on Facebook.
While Anthony Malcolm’s attorneys said all he did was hold a cellphone camera as the deadly attack unfolded last July in a West Rogers Park alley, Cook County Judge Joseph Claps said on Monday, as he handed down the guilty verdict, that Malcolm was “not only present, but also accountable” for the death of 62-year-old Delfino Mora, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
“It’s a sad travesty that Mr. Delfino Mora died because of the actions of people who apparently think that what they were doing was a game,” Claps said. “Well, it wasn’t a game for Mr. Mora and his family.”
Claps said Malcolm wasn’t guilty simply for being present when Mora died. Malcolm was an accessory because, among other things, he was clearly videotaping the slaying and did nothing to contact authorities.
“A man is lying in the alley unconscious and there’s no information that I’m aware of that this defendant took any action, even anonymously, to call for help for that individual,” Claps said.
When the judge read his verdict, Delfino’s widow was sitting stone-faced with her arms crossed, a crucifix dangling from her neck. As she was told of the decision, a smile crept across her face.
The guilty verdict offers some “peace” but it doesn’t change the fact that a devoted father of 12 and grandfather of 23 was taken from them, Mora’s family said.
“We feel a little bit of peace in our hearts,” said Emanuel Mora, one of victim’s sons said. “The judge made the right decision. But on the other side, we still feel a little bit down because with this decision, it’s not going to bring our father back.”
In all, three teens were charged in the July 2012 deadly attack in the 6300 block of North Artesian Avenue, including Malik Jones who allegedly threw the deadly punch and Nicholas Ayala.
All three are being tried separately.
Perhaps one of the most damning pieces of evidence presented during Malcolm’s trial at Leighton Criminal Court Building was the dramatic one-minute recording of the attack.
Gales of laughter from the three teens charged in the attack could be heard on the tape.
Mora, who was holding a red aluminum can when he was approached by the youths, apparently didn’t seem to understand Jones and looked toward Ayala, thinking he spoke Spanish, prosecutors said.
“Got some money in your pocket?” the teen prosecutors identified as Jones asked the confused Mora as they stood in an alley in the 6300 block of North Artesian Avenue.
Then, Jones can be seen punching Mora once in the jaw.
“Bitch,” Jones allegedly hissed as the 5-foot-5-inch Mora crashed hard on the pavement — a shocking scene that elicited gasps from the Mora’s family watching the trial.
Prosecutors argued that Malcolm was as culpable as Jones and Nicholas Ayala who, authorities say, proceeded to rifle through Mora’s wallet as he lay dying in the alley.
Badly injured 15 years ago in a workplace accident, Mora emigrated to Chicago in the 1980s from Michoacán, Mexico, and supplemented his meager disability payments by collecting soda cans early in the morning, one of his sons told the Sun-Times. Mora was attacked just blocks from his home.
It was a friend of one of Mora’s sons who happened to see videotape of the attack, which ended up on Facebook – and cracked the case, authorities said.
Malcolm is scheduled to be sentenced July 26th.
His two friends are due in court Aug. 19.
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2013. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)