Daniel St. Hubert, the 27-year-old man suspected of fatally stabbing 6-year-old P.J. Avitto and seriously injuring 7-year-old Mikayla Capers in Brooklyn nearly two weeks ago, was formally indicted on Wednesday. After a prosecutor announced that he’s been charged with murder, attempted murder, assault, and weapons possession, St. Hubert attempted to speak to the Brooklyn Criminal Court judge. “Excuse me, Your Honor, is it all right if I have a moment with the court please, a short moment?” St. Hubert said. As his lawyer, Edward Friedman, leaned in to cover the microphone, the judge snapped “no.” “I told him: ‘Be quiet. Don’t say anything,’” Friedman told the New York Times. “I have no idea what he was going to say.”
St. Hubert’s sister said he’s been diagnosed with schizophrenia, and he’s currently being treated at Bellevue Hospital Center. Friedman said he’ll remain there until the Department of Correction determines that he can be transferred to a general population jail. “I’m presuming that he’s medicated, but I don’t know that for a fact,” Friedman said. If convicted of murder, St. Hubert faces 25 years to life in prison. He’s also suspected of fatally stabbing 18-year-old Tanaya Coleman and slashing a homeless man, but has yet to be charged with those crimes.
Shortly after the hearing, Mikayla Capers’s family said she’s been released from the hospital, weeks earlier than expected. She was stabbed 16 times in the elevator attack that left her friend P.J. dead, but her uncle said she’s making rapid progress. Mayor de Blasio announced at a press conference on Wednesday that the long overdue installation of video cameras in the Boulevard Houses has begun, and will be completed by October. He said Mikayla “misses her dear friend P.J., but her life is a testimony of perseverance and strength and we’re going to be here for her.”