By DEIDRA BRISCO & ISRAEL SALAS-RODRIGUEZ
The re-sentencing of a Brooklyn gunman tried twice for killing an innocent bystander in 2008 was postponed on Thursday after he failed to show up in court and instead was taken to the hospital for unknown causes.
The Department of Corrections declined to tell Brooklyn News Service the reason the defendant was hospitalized.
Marcus Cotton, 29, currently serving a sentence of 55 years to life in the 2011 manslaughter case following the 2008 shooting in Bedford-Stuyvesant of 14-year-old Mario Avilez. Cotton acting as his own lawyer was able to get the verdict overturned by the appeals court in 2015, winning a retrial due to judicial error.
Justice Neil Firetog, responsible for the judicial error in 2011, failed to read back clarifications on key information to the jury a second time, leading to the successful appeal. But Cotton ultimately was again found guilty at the retrial.
In the original killing Cotton poured eight .40 caliber bullets into a crowd across the street from where Mario was seated in front of 11 Kingston Avenue. Later the eighth grader was pronounced dead at Kings County Hospital. In a statement to detectives, Cotton said his target was never to kill.
“From my perspective, no one was supposed to even get shot,” he told detectives. “It’s not in my heart to kill. Maybe hurt, but not kill.”
After Cotton failed to show for re-sentencing his lawyer informed the court that he went to the hospital.
Judge Firetog scheduled new sentencing for some time in March.