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Man shot by police convicted of assault

A 32-year-old man who survived being shot five times by a Montgomery County police officer was convicted this morning of assaulting the officer, but cleared of the more serious charge of trying to disarm him.

Ingham "Andre" DeFreitas faces sentencing for the assault in September. "He's still scared he's going to jail," said his attorney Rebecca Nitkin.

The two-day trial centered on a confrontationbetween DeFreitas and the officer, Kurt Colson, outside a large home north of Potomac nine months ago. Colson testified that DeFreitas charged him and grabbed his gun. His testimony was confirmed to varying degrees by testimony from residents in the neighborhood.

"Andre did push Colson, which was an assault, and they [jurors] had to find him guilty of that," said Nitkin.

She said her client had "legal justification" for doing so, but jurors didn't receive instructions to consider this.

Stephen Chaikin, who prosecuted the case, acknowledged there were inconsistencies from different witnesses to the incident.

"We respect the jurors, and we can understand their verdict based on the evidence they heard," he said.

He said he was pleased with the assault conviction, and the whole incident remains shocking in the sense that DeFreitas didn’t respond to an officer’s repeated instructions and then attacked him.

"It's important to know you can't assault a police officer," he said.

-- Dan Morse

By Dan Morse  |  June 23, 2010; 11:47 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , From the Courthouse , Montgomery  
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