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Grand Jury Indicts Orange County Man Accused Of Killing Fugitive

David Carlson Faces Murder Charge In Shooting Death Of Suspected Rapist

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SPARROWBUSH, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A grand jury has indicted an Orange County man who police say admitted to fatally shooting a fugitive rape suspect near his home.

David Carlson, a 42-year-old father of three, killed Norris Acosta-Sanchez with his shotgun last Friday when the wanted man emerged from the woods after eluding police in Sparrowbush, authorities said.

Carlson’s neighbors told CBS 2 everyone in the area was on edge after the failed police manhunt.

“This case is about somebody who was left to his own devices, sadly,” said Ben Ostrer, Carlson’s attorney. “There was a huge police presence in his community on Thursday afternoon, and none on Friday. He was literally left to himself.”

Carlson told police he marched Acosta-Sanchez at gunpoint along a road, Young reported. A witness told the grand jury that the suspect lunged at Carlson before the shooting, according to Young.

Carlson, who is charged with second-degree murder, was denied bail Thursday. He has been in Orange County Jail since the day of the shooting.

“What is the DA doing?” said his wife, Sarah Carlson. “They’re treating my husband as a … flight risk. He’s a family man.”

Carlson’s neighbors are planning to protest at the courthouse Friday when the defendant again seeks bail.

“It’s not right,” said Laura Curtis, Carlson’s mother-in-law. “He needs to be home with his family.”

Carlson did not testify before the grand jury, but he earlier gave a four-hour taped interview to police.

Acosta-Sanchez, 35, had reportedly been staying in a vacant cabin near Carlson’s home on Old Plank Road. Police surrounded the cabin Thursday and broke down the door trying to make an arrest, but he wasn’t inside. Police searched the woods all day with heavily armed teams but didn’t find him.

Witness Carmine Ferrera spotted Acosta-Sanchez when Carlson already had his gun pointed at him. When interview by Young earlier in the week, Ferrera, who was scheduled to testify before the grand jury, declined to provide specifics about what he saw, except to say: “I didn’t see a murder happen. That’s as far as I’m going to go.

“I can tell you the community was in fear. I can tell you Dave wasn’t the only one who armed himself.”

Carlson fired four shots, two of which struck Acosta-Sanchez, police said.

Orange County District Attorney Frank Phillips characterized the incident earlier this week as “a tragedy all the way around.”

The official indictment is not expected to be unsealed until next week.

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