FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Man Convicted of Fatally Stabbing 6-Year-Old Boy and
Seriously Wounding 7-year-Old Girl Inside Elevator
Stabbed Innocent Children 27 Times; Identified by Witnesses and
Via DNA Analysis of Steak Knife Used in the Attack
Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez today announced that a 31-year-old man was convicted of murder and attempted murder for the brutal 2014 attack inside an elevator in East New York, Brooklyn. The unprovoked stabbing claimed the life of 6-year-old Prince Joshua (PJ) Avitto, and seriously wounded his best friend, 7-year-old Mikayla Capers.
District Attorney Gonzalez said, “It is impossible to fathom that someone would brutally stab small, innocent children who were going to get some icees after playing in a playground. But the evidence established beyond any doubt that the defendant committed this heinous crime and he has now been held responsible. I know that nothing will bring solace to the family of little PJ and that Mikayla, who bravely took the stand at trial, will carry the scars of that day forever. It is my hope, however, that today’s verdict will still afford them a small measure of closure by knowing that this defendant has been brought to justice.”
The District Attorney identified the defendant as Daniel St. Hubert, 31, of Cypress Hills, Brooklyn. He was convicted today of second-degree murder and second-degree attempted murder following a jury trial before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Vincent Del Giudice. The defendant will be sentenced on May 15, 2018, at which time he faces up to 50 years to life in prison.
The District Attorney said that, according to trial testimony, on June 1, 2014, a sunny Sunday afternoon, PJ, 6, and Mikayla, 7, were playing tag in a playground outside the housing development where they both lived. At about 5:40 p.m., the children asked for permission to go up to PJ’s home, at 845 Schenck Avenue, in East New York, Brooklyn, to get some Italian icees.
The two children entered the elevator, followed by the defendant. The evidence showed that the defendant then repeatedly stabbed and slashed the victims with a steak knife. PJ was stabbed 11 times and died at the scene from wounds to his chest. Mikayla was stabbed 16 times, but miraculously survived, and managed to crawl to the building’s entrance.
One witness saw the defendant enter the elevator and then leave the building a short time later. Two other witnesses saw him fleeing the location and stumbling in a grassy area outside the building, according to testimony. A steak knife was later recovered from the area where he stumbled. DNA recovered from the handle of the knife matched the defendant and blood from the blade was a match to the two victims, the evidence showed.
Furthermore, the defendant was seen in a surveillance video, wearing the same clothes described by the witnesses, about two blocks from the crime scene approximately 10 minutes after the incident. A search warrant that was later executed at his residence recovered packaging from a four-piece knife set that contained one knife with the same make and model of the knife that was used in the attack.
On June 4, 2014, after the defendant’s identity was revealed via the DNA match, he was located by tracking his cell phone. Just before he was apprehended, the evidence showed, the defendant was seen making graffiti with a black marker on a stop sign. That inscription read: “$Kills I will BK.”
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Patrick O’Connor, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Violent Criminal Enterprises Bureau, and Senior Assistant District Attorney Gillian DiPietro, also of VCE, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Nicole Chavis, VCE Bureau Chief, and the overall supervision of Mark Feldman, Senior Executive Assistant District Attorney for Crime Strategies and Investigations.