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DA: Man gets 17 years to life in 2011 Freeport murder

A Queens man was sentenced to 17 years to life in prison Friday for his part in the gunpoint robbery and murder of a man in Freeport in 2011, the Nassau County district attorney's office said in a news release.

It took a jury two days in May to convict Jerod Plowden, 26, of St. Albans with second-degree murder, three counts of first-degree robbery and second-degree robbery. He was sentenced Friday by Judge Jerald Carter, the release said.

On April 12, 2011, Plowden and Nolan Gaugler, 21, of Mineola, met with Moez Hassan, 23, of Queens, outside an abandoned Stevens Street home to buy Xanax pills from him. Plowden and Gaugler robbed Hassan of 75 Xanax pills and about $30 at gunpoint, the district attorney's office said, and the victim "was then shot five times, once in the head, chest, and left arm, and twice in the abdomen," prosecutors said.

Nassau police officers caught Gaugler, who still had the stolen drugs and money, several blocks away, prosecutors said. Plowden was arrested 16 days later in Suffolk County, a passenger in a vehicle during a traffic stop.

"Jerod Plowden lured his victim to an abandoned home under false pretenses only to rob and brutally murder him with five gunshots about his whole body," District Attorney Kathleen Rice said in a statement.

After his conviction in May, Plowden's attorney, Michael DerGarabedian, emphasized that the jury acquitted his client of a weapons charge, and said that Plowden was happy that the jury found that he was not the shooter in the case.

Gaugler pleaded guilty to first-degree robbery in exchange for a promised prison sentence of 16 years, the release said.

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