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Man acquitted in armed rob of Ozone Park bodega: DA

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Devon Keitt was found not guilty of attempted robbery Monday, but State Supreme Court Justice Barry Kron recommended that Keitt serve a maximum of four months for parole violation."It is the court's opinion that leaving Mr. Keitt out in the free world is a danger to society," the judge said.Keitt's parole board will take the judge's recommendation under consideration when reviewing the case. If the board agrees with the judge, Keitt would be jailed until April 10, a spokesman for Queens DA Richard Brown said.Keitt was originally charged with attempted robbery, menacing in the second-degree and firearms law violations. Conviction on all those charges could have brought a prison sentence of 15 years.Keitt was accused of attempting to rob Ramon's deli on the Van Wyck Expressway service road in Ozone Park on March 24, 2004.Edwin Marte, 35, of Corona was behind the counter at the deli when a man whose face was concealed by a black mask walked in shortly before 8 p.m., pulled a pistol. Marte testified that the man announced a stickup.Marte told police he pulled a handgun from beneath the counter and aimed it at the masked man, then heard a gunshot, according to the complaint filed by the Queens district attorney. Marte said the intruder fled, leaving an ammunition clip from a 9mm pistol.The prosecution gave Marte immunity from illegal weapons charges in exchange for his testimony in the trial against Keitt. Police said Marte admitted owning an unregistered .38-caliber revolver, which officers recovered from the basement of the bodega.Keitt, on parole from an auto theft conviction, was taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for treatment of the gunshot wound and released.The jury deliberated for nearly 16 hours over three days before reaching its verdict.Patrick Megaro, the lawyer who represented Keitt, said the incident in the bodega was not a robbery but rather "a street confrontation between two young guys."Reach contributing writer Philip Newman by e-mail at news@timesledger.com, or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 136.

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