A man in Orange County, New York shot and killed a suspected rapist that was on the run from police, and now, he’s been charged with second-degree murder.
According to reports, Norris Acosta-Sanchez fled from Rockland County to evade an investigation by police over a child rape. Acosta-Sanchez moved to the Orange County town of Sparrowbush where he lived in a camp set up in the woods and worked odd jobs for money.
One day, 42-year-old Sparrowbush resident and father of three David Carlson met Acosta-Sanchez and questioned why he was living there. The suspected rapist was living in the woods near Carlson’s home, and he confessed to Carlson that he was on the run from police. Carlson went to the police and let them know that Acosta-Sanchez was living there, but somehow, the suspect got word and fled once more.
The following day, Acosta-Sanchez made his way back to Sparrowbush and found himself in a confrontation with Carlson. Carlson, along with other neighbors, claimed to have been fearful after the child rapist fled because they didn’t know if he would come back.
When the two men came face to face, Carlson pulled out a gun and tried to get Acosta-Sanchez to come to a neighbor’s home so they could call the police and turn him in. At some point on the walk to the home, Carlson, for unknown reasons, shot Acosta-Sanchez four times, killing him.
Soon after, Carlson was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He was released soon after on $50,000 bail and he’s now awaiting his day in court, set for January 14.
The incident sparked a lot of debate. Many believe that Carlson was doing what he had to when faced with a dangerous fugitive, but others like lawyer Bernard Brady say it’s not that simple.
“New York is not a ‘stand your ground state.’ There is a duty to retreat, especially if you’re armed and the other person isn’t,” said Brady. “You can’t walk away from a dead guy when there’s a shooting involved.”
Despite the looming court date and proceedings, Carlson says he is doing well, although he refuses to comment on the case.
"I'm holding up pretty well," Carlson said. "I have to, for my kids."