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Appeals court orders new trial in 2011 Freeport slaying

A Queens man will get a new murder trial after an appellate court this week threw out his 2013 conviction in a Freeport slaying, citing jury misconduct.

Jerod Plowden, 29, of St. Albans, has been serving a prison term of 17 years to life for murder and robbery.

Nassau prosecutors alleged at Plowden’s trial that he and another man lured the victim, Moez Hassan, 23, of Queens, to the scene of the 2011 fatal shooting — outside an abandoned home — under the pretense of buying Xanax pills from him.

Plowden’s co-defendant later pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in exchange for a 16-year prison sentence.

In a Wednesday ruling, the Appellate Division Second Department found Plowden’s guilty verdict “was not against the weight of the evidence.” But the panel also found that acting state Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter “improperly denied” Plowden’s motion to set aside the verdict based on juror misconduct.

The decision said one juror “improperly shared the views of her husband,” a retired prosecutor. She told other jurors her husband had said things such as “everything the prosecutors said was true,” and that “law enforcement officials would not lie” and “crime scene videos didn’t show everything.”

The ruling also said that during deliberations, another juror sent a text message to her uncle — a retired police officer — asking if a 9 mm bullet could fit into a .40-caliber gun, and then shared his answer with other jurors.

“The material that was improperly placed before the jury in this case created a substantial risk of prejudice to the rights of the defendant,” the appellate court concluded.

Plowden’s trial attorney, Michael DerGarabedian of Rockville Centre, said Friday it was “self-evident” the case would be reversed.

“We intend to retry the case,” said Nassau district attorney’s office spokesman Brendan Brosh.

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