A VIGILANTE man who fatally shot a rape fugitive has won a six-year freedom fight - but lost his wife, kids and job along the way.
David Carlson, 48, was acquitted of all charges in the 2013 shooting death of 35-year-old Norris Acosta-Sanchez.
Carlson faced charges of manslaughter and criminally negligent homicide.
His defense team argued that he acted in self-defense when he fired his shotgun at Acosta-Sanchez.
Benjamin Ostrer, one of the lawyers representing Carlson, said: “There’s no winners here. It was a tragic loss of life."
Despite Carlson's release, he still faces a civil lawsuit brought by Acosta-Sanchez's family.
And his life will never return to what it used to be.
During a post-verdict interview with The New York Post, Carlson explained: “I have my freedom.
“I’m going to try and look at this as a fresh start, move on. But I’m never going to be able to completely move on. It’s always going to haunt me.”
Carlson - an Orange County, NY, man who was diagnosed with PTSD in 2014 - blamed the case for tearing apart his family.
He lost his job, his wife, and his home is now going into foreclosure, according to The NY Post.
Carlson, told The Post: “Looking back with the therapy I think we already had a failing marriage and the shooting might have been the catalyst."
“For like six months after it happened she was on my side... And then one day she just left. I came home and she was gone.”
His wife left him in August 2014, along with two of their children. But Carlson's eldest son, 20, remained living with him.
In the past six and a half years, Carlson has been through two murder indictments, one jury trial, and a manslaughter conviction that was later overturned, according to The Times Herald-Record.
Carlson revealed he has regret for killing Acosta-Sanchez, who confessed he was wanted for rape prior to his death.
Acosta-Sanchez helped work on Carlson's farm in exchange for food, but once he admitted to raping a 14-year-old girl, Carlson told police.
Cops then enlisted Carlson to help bring Acosta-Sanchez into custody.
But when Acosta-Sanchez showed up at angry at Carlson's home - the confrontation that followed led to his death.
Carlson told The Post: “This man lost his life and I feel horrible about it.
“I can’t go back and change that. It’s always going to haunt me.”
Do you have a story for The US Sun team?