crimes and misdemeanors

Alleged New York Subway Pusher Still Fit to Stand Trial

NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 23: A New York City Subway pulls up to a station on February 23, 2010 in New York City. Najibullah Zazi, a former airport shuttle driver, pleaded guilty Monday to plotting to blow up New York City subways. Zazi, who grew up in New York and lived in Colorado, pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit murder in a foreign country, conspiring to use weapons of mass destruction and to providing material support for a terrorist organization. Zazi, 25, faces a life prison sentence without parole at sentencing in June. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo: Spencer Platt/2010 Getty Images

Erika Menendez, the woman accused of pushing a man to his death in front of an oncoming 7 train last December, was found fit to stand trial for a second time on Wednesday. But after she told the court she wanted to fire Thomas Kenniff, the attorney her family had hired, and use a public defender named Joseph DeFelice instead, Kenniff had to explain why he thought she was unfit to choose her attorney even though she’s sane enough for trial. In short, he argued, she may be sane enough to understand the trial, but she’s still pretty crazy.

From the New York Post:

Though she was found fit to stand trial she does suffer from severe psychiatric issues,” charged Kenniff who later offered to work alongside DeFelice.

“Part of the paranoia, psychiatrist say she suffers from, has to do with family,” he continued.

“I just want Joseph DeFelice,” said Menendez in a relaxed tone.

The tone is a change from her earlier in-court “cackling,” but attorneys aren’t getting into the details of the latest psychiatric tests, Metropolis reports.

They’re releasing other details, though, including Menendez’s sarcastic lunch order after telling cops she had pushed Sunando Sen onto the train tracks “because he was Muslim.” According to DNAinfo, when a detective asked what she wanted for lunch she ordered “Halal lamb over rice with white sauce, a dash of white sauce.”

Alleged Subway Pusher Still Fit to Stand Trial