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Orange County Man Arraigned On New Indictment In Fugitive's Death

NYACK, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) -- An Orange County man was arraigned Friday on a new indictment, accusing him of killing a fugitive rape suspect as he walked him at gunpoint down a wooded road.

David Carlson was accused of firing his shotgun twice at Norris Acosta-Sanchez in October 2013 as they walked along the road in Sparrowbush where Carlson lives with his wife and three sons near the Pennsylvania border. Carlson claims he was escorting Acosta-Sanchez at gunpoint so a neighbor could call police and that the fugitive lunged at him before the shooting.

An indictment against Carlson, 43, was dismissed in November, but a new three-count indictment has since been issued charging him with second-degree murder and first- and second-degree manslaughter.

Acosta-Sanchez had been charged in neighboring Rockland County with statutory rape of a teenage girl. He had been staying at a summer cabin by the Carlson's home and befriended the family.

Carlson's family had hired Acosta-Sanchez to do odd jobs on his property and paid him with food, police said. Over time, Carlson and his wife, Sarah, began taking Acosta-Sanchez shopping and he began giving Spanish lessons to Carlson's children, prosecutors said.

But a couple of months later, Carlson learned that Acosta-Sanchez was a fugitive who was wanted for having sex with a 14-year-old girl, and contacted police, prosecutors said. On Oct. 9, 2013, New York State Police questioned Acosta-Sanchez near Carlson's home, but Acosta-Sanchez jumped into the woods and escaped, prosecutors said.

Carlson's attorney said Acosta-Sanchez showed up agitated at Carlson's home later that day.

Prosecutors said Carlson grabbed a loaded pump-action shotgun and confronted Acosta-Sanchez, and then marched Acosta-Sanchez from his driveway in hopes of alerting a neighbor.

Carlson tried to alert two neighbors, and at some point, Carlson shot Acosta-Sanchez in the arm, prosecutors said. He then shot Sanchez a second time in the head and killed him, prosecutors said.

Neighbors and other supporters of Carlson say he acted in self-defense.

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore, whose office is acting as a special prosecutor in the case, said Carlson must be held accountable regardless of his motives.

"Whatever this defendant's intended motivations, his alleged actions after disregarding direct instructions from police not to have contact with the victim and let them handle the situation regarding the victim, tragically resulted in this outcome," DiFiore said in a news release.

Carlson's neighbors told CBS2's Lou Young in October 2013 that everyone in the area was on edge after a police manhunt for Acosta-Sanchez failed.

"This case is about somebody who was left to his own devices, sadly," defense attorney Benjamin Ostrer said then. "There was a huge police presence in his community on Thursday afternoon, and none on Friday. He was literally left to himself."

"I can tell you the community was in fear," Carmine Ferrera, who witnessed the shooting, said. "I can tell you Dave wasn't the only one who armed himself."

Bail for Carlson was continued at $100,000. He is due back in court on April 20, and faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in prison if convicted.


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