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Morshed testifies in murder trial

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    Mohammed Morshed, who is on trial in Columbia County Court, accused in the shooting death of 19-year-old Inderly Instinfil, listens as his attorney gives his opening statement.
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    Lance Wheeler for Columbia-Greene Media Mohammed Morshed, of Hudson, is on trial in Columbia County Court this week, accused in the shooting death of 19-year-old Inderly InStinfil of Philmont.
June 14, 2019 07:41 pm Updated: June 15, 2019 01:48 pm

HUDSON — Mohammed Morshed took the stand in his murder trial Thursday.

Morshed testified that he was afraid for his life and said that was the reason he shot his neighbor’s friend, Inderly InStinfil.

Morshed, 28, of Hudson, is accused in the shooting death of InStinfil, of Philmont, on June 17, 2018. He was charged with second-degree murder, a class A-1 felony. He has claimed the shooting was in self-defense. InStinfil died at the hospital shortly after the shooting.

Morshed testified the gun belonged to a friend. Morshed said he kept it in his hallway closet and was using it for protection. He had never shot a gun before, he said.

Morshed also had no pistol permit or license to own a gun, Hudson Police Det. Nicolas Pierro testified on Thursday.

Morshed’s younger brother, Shiram Alam, saw the fight on the street and ran downstairs. As Morshed ran into the house, Alam testified, he closed the door behind him. That’s when InStinfil burst into the house, Morshed said.

Morshed said he never met InStinfil before that night.

“I didn’t know him,” Morshed testified. “I’ve never shot anyone. I am not a maniac.”

Morshed testified the gun was in the closet. He took it out just before InStinfil charged at him with a crowbar. Before he knew it, the gun went off, Morshed testified.

But witnesses on the street, including twin sisters Paige and Ashley Herber, testified Wednesday that as they were driving along Fairview Avenue, they saw a light-skinned man waving a gun around on the sidewalk. They stopped, turned around and called 911 from the Stewart’s Shops parking lot at 17 Fairview Ave.

Dr. Jeffrey Hubbard, a forensic pathologist for several New York counties, including Columbia, testified for the prosecution that he performed an autopsy on InStinfil on June 18. The cause of death was believed to be a single gunshot wound to the chest, Hubbard said.

Defense attorney Justin DeArmas asked whether it was possible that the entry wound from the bullet was in fact the neck. Hubbard disagreed.

One probable scenario was that InStinfil was shot from the back of the chest and the bullet moved up through his chest cavity and out his neck, Hubbard said. It was possible that InStinfil was bent over and shot from behind, based on where the bullet hole was found in the wall.

Morshed feared for his life because he believed three men with InStinfil outside his home were about to jump him, he testified. InStinfil swung a crowbar at Morshed’s head but missed, hitting his arm instead, Morshed said.

DeArmas asked Morshed why he told photographer and videographer Lance Wheeler, “I didn’t do it, man,” and that he wasn’t in Hudson the night of the shooting, as he was being escorted to a police car to be taken to Columbia County Jail after his arraignment.

Morshed has said that he wasn’t in Hudson on the night of the shooting.

“I was in shock,” Morshed said. “I was paranoid. I just said what I said. I was in shock.”

The trial continues Monday.

To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to apurcell@thedailymail.net, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.