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Deric Douglas acquitted of charges in 2014 Freeport shooting

A Nassau jury acquitted a defendant Wednesday of charges from a 2014 Freeport shooting that had left a victim critically injured.

They found Deric Douglas, 19, of Freeport, not guilty of assault and gun charges after previously acquitting him of attempted murder in the same case.

On Aug. 10, 2014, the victim was shot in front of an address in the 100 block of Independence Avenue, according to authorities. Douglas' attorney, Michael DerGarabedian, said the shooting happened after an argument at a Freeport house party.

"It was mistaken identity, and it was very convenient to pin it on him," the Rockville Centre attorney said. " . . . The jury spoke, and they've said that this was not him."

Douglas, then 17, had turned himself in after police put out a wanted poster seeking his arrest, with the bulletin alleging he was the shooter and a gang member. DerGarabedian has said his client isn't in a gang.

The victim, now 23, said after the verdict that he planned to get on with his life and continue his schooling.

"I'm just moving on. I'm still here. . . . I'm happy to still be alive, honestly," he said. Newsday is not naming the man for safety reasons.

In a statement, acting Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas' office said prosecutors respected the jurors' verdict, "although we believe the evidence was more than sufficient to establish the defendant's guilt."

Acting State Supreme Court Justice Jerald Carter said Douglas would go back to Nassau's jail despite the acquittal because of an unrelated matter.

Records show Douglas has pleaded not guilty in two other felony cases, after a Nassau indictment in a weapon case and a Queens indictment on weapon and possession of forged credit card charges.

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