HUDSON — A Columbia County jury Wednesday found Mohammed Morshed not guilty of felony murder in the shooting death of a Philmont teen.
Morshed, 28, of Hudson, was accused of killing of 19-year-old Inderly Instinfil on June 17, 2018 at 20 Fairview Ave. He was charged with second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony.
The seven-man, five-woman jury deliberated for about two-and-a-half days before reaching their verdict. Over the course of the deliberations, jurors asked for replays of a 911 call just after the shooting. They also asked the judge to repeat the definition for justification of self-defense under the law. Jurors were asked to consider a lesser charge of second-degree manslaughter as an alternative to the murder charge. They returned a not-guilty verdict on each charge.
With his acquittal, Morshed will be free to return home, his attorney, Justin DeArmas said. Morshed has been held without bail since his arrest a year ago in 2018.
“This is the case where the defendant’s use of deadly force was justified,” DeArmas said outside the courthouse. “I was confident of that the moment I met Mohammed.”
The verdict was met with sobs and screams from Instinfil’s family who had sat through the week-and-a-half trial.
The defense argued throughout the trial that Morshed acted in self-defense after Instinfil attacked him with a tire iron in Morshed’s home following a verbal altercation.
Meanwhile, the prosecution argued that Morshed was the initial aggressor, who was seen brandishing a gun out on the street before firing it inside his home. Assistant District Attorney Ryan Carty also argued that Instinfil had his back turned when he was shot.
Morshed’s younger brother, Shiram Alam, saw the fight on the street and ran downstairs. The fight allegedly started after Morshed and his neighbor, Ronald Coyote, began arguing over landlord-tenant issues. Coyote’s family rented the upstairs apartment at 20 Fairview Ave. from Morshed’s family. As Morshed ran into the house, Alam testified, he closed the door behind him. That’s when Instinfil burst into the house, Morshed said.
Outside the house, Ronaldo Coyote, a friend of Instinfil, testified that he warned Instinfil not to chase after Morshed.
Morshed testified he kept the illegal gun he fired at Instinfil in the closet. He testified that he took it out just before Instinfil charged at him with a crowbar. Before he knew it, the gun went off, Morshed testified.
The gun was not registered to Morshed, but another Columbia County man. Morshed also had no pistol permit or license to own a gun, Hudson Police Det. Nicolas Pierro testified last Thursday.
Before he fired the gun, Morshed said that Instinfil swung the crowbar in the hallway, missing his skull and instead hitting his arm. Morshed did not receive medical treatment for the injury.
“I was afraid for my life,” Morshed testified last week. Morshed said he also felt outnumbered by Instinfil’s two friends, who were outside.
After the shooting, Instinfil ran out of the house, across the street and jumped into a taxi that took him to Columbia Memorial Hospital where he died.
Police found the weapon three days later, hidden in the floor of the basement. Morshed was arrested a day after the shooting after being apprehended in a Kingston motel.
Instinfil’s mother, Rose, testified that her son went to the house to drop off money to Morshed’s upstairs neighbor.
Instinfil was set to graduate from Hudson High School about a week after his death.
Check back for more on this developing story.