GOSHEN, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — A man on trial for shooting a suspect claims it was self-defense, but prosecutors said he took the law into his own hands.
Accused vigilante David Carlson found it harder and harder to smile as an Orange County jury spent a second day deliberating his fate. It’s all about the 2013 killing that was first reported from a neighbor’s cell phone.READ MORE: Ghislaine Maxwell's Federal Sex Trafficking Trial Underway In Manhattan Courtroom
“Old Plant Road. You can send an ambulance, but he’s probably dead. My neighbor just shot a fugitive,” witness Carmine Ferrera said in a 911 call.
The fugitive was Norris Acosta-Sanchez. He was wanted for sex with an underage girl, and was the object of a futile police manhunt in the woods near Carlson’s home the day before.
With the body lying in his neighbor’s driveway and cops on the way Carlson took the phone to speak with the operator.
Operator: “Sir, why did you shoot him?”
Carlson: “He was threatening me. This is the guy you were chasing yesterday. He came back to my house.”
Operator: “He came back to your house?”
Carlson: “And was a little pissed, so I had my gun already out. I put it on him. I tried to get him to the neighbor’s to call the cops and in the meantime he just started attacking me.”
Carlson knew the dead man. He had befriended him when he took up residence in a hunting cabin nearby, but the husband and father became horrified when he learned Acosta was hiding from the law for statutory rape.
Carlson called police, but Acosta escaped custody once, eluded the follow-up manhunt and kept coming back.
The phone call to 911 continued to record after police arrived on the scene.
Operator: “When you go out of there David, I want your hands up showing everyone.”
Carlson: “Yes, ma’am, yes, I’m not going anywhere.”
More can be heard in the distance.READ MORE: NYC 'Strongly Recommends' Masks In Public Indoor Spaces, As Omicron Variant Reaches North America
Officer: “Where’s the gun.”
Carlson: “Right here sir.”
Officer: “Who shot him?”
Carlson: “I did.”
Officer: “Don’t move.”
Carlson offered the cops an explanation and seemed to react to the horror of what happened.
Carlson: “I needed somebody to call the police, and Allan wasn’t home and this is the next residence I could think of where…”
Officer: “Are there any other guns in the house?”
Carlson: “I have my 30/30 in the bathroom because I was freaked out last night. I got a 22 in the kitchen, and I got a double barrel in the bedroom.”
Officer: “Do you know whereabouts you shot him?”
Carlson: “I shot him on the side, in the arm, and he kinda still came after me, so I (expletive) shot him in the head…Dude, I tried to help you guys and the guy came after me! I (expletive) killed somebody, you understand?”
Officer: “It’s going to be alright.”
Carlson: “No! It’s not going to be okay. I’m never going to be the same!”
The words were compelling, but the jury didn’t hear them. The judge ruled that they are not evidence and could be self-serving statements. The jury is relying instead on formal interviews with police, and forensic evidence.MORE NEWS: Blast Leaves Behind Mysterious Crater On Fox Island