Man found guilty of beating elderly man to death with bat
ORLANDO - The trial for a local man who is accused of beating his neighbor with a baseball bat began Thursday morning in Orange County.
Michael Garay is on trial for first-degree murder because officials said he beat his 79-year-old neighbor to death.
Prosecutors said Garay and his friend, Robert Pascale, killed his neighbor, [name withheld], because he thought [name withheld] was a sex offender.
- As if that would justify murder?
Officials said in a drunken rage, Garay went next door to Hugh [name withheld]'s trailer in Bithlo and killed him in May of 2010.
[name withheld] was not a sex offender.
Shortly after being arrested Pascale apologized.
According to Garay's attorney, his client made some bad decisions but did not kill [name withheld].
"The man, the co-defendant he knew, had just bludgeoned a man to death. My client, Michael Garay, after witnessing the aftermath of the crime that the co-defendant, Robert Pascale, had committed made some bad decisions out of fear. He feared what Robert Pascale might do to him," said Garay's attorney, Joe Davis.
Garay's trial is expected to last a week and if he's convicted he could face life in prison.
Garay and Pascale are being tried separately.
Pascale was set to go on trial next week, but his attorney said the trial most likely will be held later.