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Life imprisonment for Hempstead man convicted in fatal shooting

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A Hempstead man was sentenced Tuesday to serve the rest of his life in prison after being convicted of shooting a man to death in front of the victim’s apartment.

Diquan McClough, 21, appeared Dec. 17 before Judge Angelo Delligatti at the Nassau County Court in Mineola to be sentenced on second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon charges. He was sentenced to serve 25 years to life in prison.

It took a Nassau County jury less than one hour to convict him in the October 2012 shooting death of 20-year-old Quavis Ford. Evidence presented during McClough’s trial showed six bullets were fired, three of which struck and mortally wounded Ford. He died the following day.

Prosecutors had said the shooting was motivated by revenge after McClough thought Ford had shot his friend. After the shooting, he reportedly fled to Georgia and was apprehended last January by U.S. Marshals and Nassau detectives.

“This defendant has not shown one ounce of remorse for what he did,” Assistant District Attorney Michael Walsh said Tuesday. “This was nothing short of cold blooded murder.”

McClough made no statements Tuesday about the slaying. He has maintained his innocence and said he intends to appeal the verdict.

“I’m not saying my client is an angel. He has a prior criminal history and a pending case,” his attorney, Glenn Hardy, said. He asked the judge to consider McClough’s family ties when deciding what an appropriate sentence would be.

“Your actions caused two mothers to lose their sons and that is on you, sir. It’s not on the jury and it’s not on me,” the judge told McClough before sentencing him to the maximum allowable prison term permitted by law.

“This strong sentence follows a multi-agency, multi-state effort to being a very dangerous criminal to justice swiftly,” Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice said. “It won’t bring this young victim back, but the streets will be safer with Mr. McClough in prison for the next two decades.

Hardy argued that the proceeding should have been delayed because a pre-sentencing report that is being prepared by a social worker has not been completed. Citing at least two previous adjournments in the case, Delligatti said he saw no reason to “further delay” the sentencing.

McClough had also asked the judge to delay Tuesday’s sentencing proceeding because several members of his family could not attend. “I object,” he said in his orange prison jumpsuit. “My family could not come.”

McClough’s mother was in attendance to hear her son’s sentence and said she had not been told that her son was due to appear in court. She later declined comment.

McClough’s brother, Maleek, is also facing criminal charges after being accused of threatening to kill witnesses who testified in the trial and is also accused of attacking officers during his arraignment on the witness intimidation charges. He has pleaded not guilty and those cases remain ongoing.

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