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From the Washington Blade & the Associated Press:
Man guilty in brutal gay hate-crime murder
Victim's ears cut off, anti-gay slur written on his back
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) | Nov 21, 10:00 AM
A jury convicted a man Friday of first-degree murder for the brutal killing of a retired immigration agent who was found with his head smashed in, his ears cut off and a slur against gays written on his back.
The jury of 11 women and one man deliberated one day before finding Gregory Michael Pisarcik guilty of murdering 53-year-old Narciso Leggs Jr., said Deputy District Attorney Matt Murphy.
The jury agreed with special circumstance allegations of murder during a robbery and penetration of a foreign object, said Murphy, allowing the murder to be deemed a hate crime.
"The victim was a very nice man with a family who loved him," said Murphy. 'We had a good trial and the jury did the right thing.'
Pisarcik, 28, is scheduled to be sentenced Feb. 3 and faces life in prison without parole.
Murphy said Leggs, who was gay, met Pisarcik in Laguna Beach. The two went back to Leggs' apartment in Santa Ana.
Leggs was found dead June 29, 2002. His landlord had called police when he didn't see Leggs for a few days.
Leggs' head was smashed with a full champagne bottle and the apartment was ransacked. Leggs' ears were cut off with scissors and a large flashlight had been inserted in his rectum, Murphy said.
Leggs' car and handgun were missing, and Pisarcik was later spotted driving the car in Ventura.
He led police on a chase across several freeways, firing the handgun out the window. When the chase halted, Pisarcik refused to come out of the car for an hour.
Associate Public Defender William Kelly had asked the jury to convict Pisarcik of second-degree murder.
"I argued there was a sudden explosion of rage, and an unpremeditated killing," Kelly said.
Leggs had worked for the former Immigration and Naturalization Service for 22 years and had been retired from the federal agency about five years.
Pisarcik, originally from New Jersey, lived in the Huntington Beach area and had many misdemeanor convictions for theft and narcotics violations, prosecutors said.