Hearing set in Gayborhood attack
by Jen Colletta
Dec 19, 2013 | 716 views | 0 0 comments | 38 38 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The two men accused of attacking and robbing a local gay man last month will come before a judge next week.

Miguel Maldonado and Matthew Morris are both set for a preliminary hearing at 8 a.m. Dec. 27 in Room 906 of the Criminal Justice Center, 1301 Filbert St.

They face six charges each, including aggravated assault and robbery, in connection with the Nov. 10 attack on Nick Forte in the 200 block of South Camac Street in the Gayborhood.

Surveillance video from the scene appears to show Maldonado, 32, a bouncer at Voyeur, strike Forte from behind with what appears to be a flashlight, and Morris, 27, a Voyeur patron, then pummel him while Forte laid unconscious.

Forte suffered a number of broken bones, including both eye sockets.

Detective Russell Shoemaker said the two defendants did not know one another.

Shoemaker said Maldonado worked at Voyeur for about six months and was let go after his arrest.

Calls to Voyeur have not been returned.

The cases against both defendants were joined last month. Maldonado, who lives in the 4800 block of D Street, is being represented by a public defender, while Morris, of Wilmington, Del., retained Brian Fishman of David Nenner & Associates.

Fishman told PGN he was assigned to Morris’ case and reached out to him but has not yet received a response.

Bail was set at $50,000 for both of the accused, and court records indicate that Maldonado is still incarcerated, while Morris posted bail Dec. 8, the day after his arrest.

Morris had never previously been arrested in Philadelphia, while Maldonado has a lengthy arrest record.

Maldonado was first arrested in 2002 on drug offenses, and in 2004 was sentenced to three-six years in prison for those crimes. In 2003, he was arrested for drug and firearms charges, which were dismissed. He was arrested in 2008 for a number of charges, including possession of drugs and firearms and receiving stolen property, which were also dropped. Charges were also dismissed in a 2011 arrest for aggravated and simple assault and reckless endangerment.

Shoemaker said the surveillance video was key in identifying the suspects.

“Without that, we might not have solved this case,” he said.

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