NATION : 5 Plead Innocent in Black’s Slaying
Five white defendants pleaded innocent today to charges of murder in the killing of a black youth. Four were allowed to remain free on bail, prompting an angry outcry from the victim’s father.
“You should have kept them in here,” Moses Stewart, father of Yusuf Hawkins, shouted at Justice Thaddeus Owens at state court in Brooklyn. Owens responded by calling for order in the courtroom, which was filled with supporters of Hawkins’ family. “I do a solo act here,” the judge said.
Minutes before, he accepted innocent pleas from the four defendants. The alleged triggerman, Joseph Fama, 18, appeared in court later and also entered an innocent plea. He was held without bail.
Hawkins, 16, was shot to death on Aug. 23 when he and three friends went to the predominantly white Bensonhurst section of Brooklyn to look at a used car that had been advertised for sale.