Accused vigilante killer acquitted in 2nd murder retrial

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An Orange County man originally convicted of killing a fugitive has been acquitted in his retrial.

David Carlson walked into court Thursday uncertain of his fate but left a free man after standing trial for the second time in the killing of an accused rapist.

MORE: Appeals court overturns conviction for man who shot fugitive

The 48-year-old Sparrowbush father of three breathed a sigh of relief and hugged his attorneys after hearing he was found not guilty of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide in the 2013 shooting death of accused rapist and fugitive Norris Acosta-Sanchez.

Carlson claimed he was recruited by police to help capture Acosta-Sanchez when he shot him in self-defense. Acosta-Sanchez had previously evaded police during a massive manhunt and was hiding out near Carlson’s home.

The not guilty verdict comes after a jury originally found Carlson guilty of manslaughter in 2016. That verdict was successfully appealed and the case was tried again.

Carlson says he could hardly believe his ears when the verdict was announced. “I wasn’t sure if I was hearing him clearly to be honest. It just felt great. I get to go home.” When asked what his future would be, Carlson said “I’m just going to go back to work and get my farm back.”

 

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