A seven-year-old girl critically injured in a stabbing that left her six-year-old friend dead nearly two weeks ago was discharged from the hospital Wednesday as her alleged attacker appeared in court. NY1's Dean Meminger filed the following report.
With his hands cuffed behind him, Daniel St. Hubert was indicted for stabbing to death 6-year-old Prince Joshua Avitto and the attempted murder of 7-year-old Mikalya Capers. Although his lawyer was there to represent him, St. Hubert wanted to speak.
St. Hubert: Excuse me, Your Honor, Your Honor, is it alright if I have a moment with the court, please? A short moment?
Judge: No Sir.
Loved ones of Prince Joshua Avitto, who they called P.J., were in the courtroom. P.J.'s father, Nicholas Avitto, said it wasn't easy looking at the man accused of killing his boy.
"I just wanted to really see this guy myself, personally," he said.
The Brooklyn district attorney says St. Hubert stabbed P.J. and his close friend, Mikayla Capers, dozens of times inside an elevator at the Boulevard Houses. The kids were going to get icies after playing outside when they encountered the 27-year-old and his knife. It's a nightmare that their families must deal with the rest of their lives.
P.J.'s father and uncle are leaning on each other.
"At times, we both want to break down. I'll catch him, he'll catch me," said Scott Avitto, P.J.'s uncle. Same thing with the rest of the family."
A week before the stabbing, St. Hubert was released from prison after serving five years for trying to kill his own mother. He's being held without bail and is being evaluated at a correction mental ward.
"He will be at Bellevue as long as the Department of Correction thinks that he should be at Bellevue. I have no say in that. His lawyer has no say in that," said defense lawyer Edward Friedman. "And when they make the determination that he's well enough to go into general population, they'll move him back into Rikers Island, and there's no telling how long he'll be at Bellevue."
As P.J.'s family members continue to try to cope with this unimaginable pain, they say they've been told this case could take a while to play out in court.
"It is basically hard, but I'm going to get through it," Nicholas Avitto said. "With the grace of the most high God, I'm going to get through it."
Also making it through is Mikayla Capers. The 7-year-old was released from the hospital Wednesday morning.