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Nassau jury again convicts Queens man of murder

For a second time, a Nassau County jury has convicted a Queens man of murder for fatally shooting a man who tried to dance with his girlfriend at an Elmont nightclub.

Yesterday's verdict came after Sandino Campbell, 32, of Jamaica, Queens, stood trial again on the same second-degree murder charge.

Campbell was serving 25 years to life in prison for the May 2009 murder of Galy Fortune, 47, of Valley Stream, when an appellate court ruled in 2013 that the trial judge made a mistake during jury selection in 2011.

The higher court found the defense should have been able to excuse a potential juror "for cause" who showed doubt about his ability to be impartial, but instead had to use one of his peremptory challenges -- a limited amount of challenges that allow dismissal of potential jurors without a reason.

The defense also used up its peremptory challenges during that jury selection, so what happened "cannot be considered harmless," the court found.

Prosecutors said Campbell got into an argument over his girlfriend with Fortune at Café Moments, before both men were escorted outside. Authorities said Campbell shot at Fortune from his car, and the victim -- who had a wife and child -- was hit with a bullet in the lower back and was pronounced dead at a hospital.

Police tracked down Campbell in California a year later after his arrest there on unrelated charges.

Acting District Attorney Madeline Singas said in a statement Thursday that Campbell resorted to using a gun when he should have just walked away from an argument.

Campbell's attorney, Mitchell Barnett, said he respected the jury's verdict, but believed his client has grounds for another appeal because a witness mentioned Campbell's prior trial and conviction while testifying.


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