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DA: Diquan McClough gets maximum sentence in Hempstead slay

Diquan McClough, held without bail on a charge

Diquan McClough, held without bail on a charge of second-degree murder, is brought out of Nassau Police headquarters to be arraigned. (Jan 12, 2013) Credit: Howard Schnapp

A Hempstead man convicted of gunning down a man in front of his home one year ago was sentenced Tuesday to the maximum, 25 years to life in prison, prosecutors said.

A jury deliberated for less than an hour in October and found Diquan McClough, 21, guilty of second-degree murder in the Dec. 8, 2012, shooting of Quavis Ford, 20, according to Nassau District Attorney Kathleen Rice.

McClough also was convicted of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

In finding McClough guilty, the jury rejected defense claims that there was not enough evidence to prove that McClough was the shooter, prosecutors said.

Judge Angelo A. Delligatti gave McClough the maximum punishment.

"This strong sentence follows a multiagency, multistate effort to bring a very dangerous criminal to justice swiftly," Rice said in a statement. "It won't bring his young victim back, but the streets will be safer with Mr. McClough in prison for the next two decades."

McClough approached Ford in front of his Hempstead apartment house and fired six rounds from a 9-mm semiautomatic handgun at about 4:20 p.m., hitting the victim twice in the back and once in the leg. Ford died about nine hours later.

The gunman apparently believed that Ford had been involved in a shooting involving one of McClough's friends, prosecutors said.

McClough left New York after the shooting and was captured in Augusta, Ga., in January with the help of federal marshals and local authorities.

Ford, an office assistant, was going to be a father and had been trying to turn his life around when he was shot, his boss said.

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