It was the second time in a year that Carl Perryman sat in a hushed courtroom waiting for a verdict that could send him away for years. And it was the second time he heard those fateful words: Not guilty.
Monday, Perryman, 23, of Rockville Centre, stood and threw his arms around his lawyer, Greg Madey, when a jury found him not guilty of attempted murder charges in the shooting of John Bush, 47, as he walked near Perryman's home July 26 about 2:30 a.m. Bush was hospitalized in stable condition after the shooting.
Perryman's joyful reaction was similar to the one he showed last April, when a jury found him not guilty of killing his childhood friend, David Baez.
In the earlier case, Perryman was accused of intimidating three of the witnesses against him, influencing them either to refuse to testify or to go back on statements they had initially made to police.
Nassau County Court Judge George Peck said at the time he found the witnesses' initial statements credible, and found that they later had been influenced to change their stories. One of those witnesses, Latoya White, later pleaded guilty to perjury charges, admitting in court that she lied when she told a jury she hadn't seen Perryman shoot Baez, his childhood friend.
Prosecutors declined to comment on the second acquittal.
But Madey said after the verdict that the prosecution's case was weak. It came down to Bush's word against Perryman's, and Bush had some "serious credibility issues," Madey said.