A New York man has been sentenced for killing a fugitive rape suspect in 2013.
David Carlson was sentenced on March 21 for manslaughter in the shotgun killing of Norris Acosta-Sanchez, who was hiding on Carlson's property in Orange County.
An interpretation of the events is summarized on the website DavidCarlsonFund.com, which was set up by the defendant's supporters to raise funds for his defense and includes an archive of published news stories related to the case.
"During the week before the tragedy, the alleged rapist revealed to David Carlson that he was wanted by the police for the rape of a 14 year old girl," the site explains. "He had fled Rockland County and hidden himself in a cabin near the corral for the Carlson family’s horses."
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The summary continues:
David Carlson informed local police and was enlisted in at least two attempts to take the fugitive into custody. The police did not make the arrest, and a manhunt ensued late on October 10, 2013 with several police departments, SWAT, dogs, a helicopter and a boat. Reportedly, the fugitive fled through the rugged terrain and swam across the Rio Reservoir to escape capture.
David Carlson sent his wife and children away but he stayed behind to care for his livestock.
The next morning, after David Carlson had cared for his animals, Acosta-Sanchez surprised him at his home. During an attempt to assist in the arrest of the fugitive, David is alleged to have fatally shot him.
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The only eyewitness, a resident of Old Plank Road, saw David Carlson fire the fatal shot The witness had no doubt that what he saw was not murder.
Many, however, have noted that Acosta-Sanchez was not armed, leading Carlson to be widely portrayed by the media as a vigilante.
According to WCBS, Acosta-Sanchez's mother, who testified at the trial, wondered of Carlson: "Did he want to be a hero?" She referred to her son's death as "cruel, vile, and absurd."
In court, Carlson admitted that he panicked. “If I could go back in time, I’d go back to October 11, 2013 and do something different,” he told the judge. “I took a life and I’m not here to make excuses.”
The judge ended up sentencing Carlson to only the mandatory minimum of five years, instead of the maximum 25 years that accompanies the charge of first-degree manslaughter.
The decision has been appealed by Carlson's attorneys.