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Brooklyn stabbing suspect due in court; funeral held for victim

Prince Joshua Avitto (left), 6, was fatally stabbed, and 7-year-old Mikayla Capers was critically injured, in an attack in an apartment building elevator in Brooklyn, N.Y., Sunday June 1, 2014. CBS New York

NEW YORK - A funeral was held today for the 6-year-old boy who was stabbed to death inside an elevator in Brooklyn, as his accused killed is due back in court, reports CBS New York.

Hundreds were expected to attend Friday's wake and funeral for Prince Joshua "P.J." Avitto at St. Paul's Baptist Church in East New York, according to the station.

Avitto and his friend, 7-year-old Mikayla Capers, were viciously stabbed in a knife attack Sunday in the elevator of a Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment. The stabbing killed the little boy and critically injured Capers, police said. She remains in critical but stable condition.

On Thursday, police charged 27-year-old Daniel St. Hubert with murder, attempted murder, assault and other crimes in Brooklyn Criminal Court for allegedly committing the stabbing, CBS New York reports.

"I thank God for doing what he did, getting this guy captured," said P.J.'s father, Nicholas Avitto. "I thank the NYPD, the finest, for capturing this guy in three days."

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Daniel St. Hubert, 27, in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Thursday.
CBS New York
In court Thursday, an assistant district attorney requested St. Hubert remain in custody because of the "heinous and vicious nature" of the crime, according to the station. Prosecutors considered the suspect a flight risk, and said he was previously supposed to be in a halfway house but absconded.

Investigators told CBS New York they arrested St. Hubert Wednesday night, blocks away from his mother's house in Brooklyn. He was reportedly armed with an 8-inch knife. The suspect had been let out of prison on May 23 after serving a 5-year sentence for domestic assault and attempted murder when he tried to kill his ex-girlfriend.

The station reports the suspect also has nine prior arrests, including two for assaulting police and correction officers. Court records state he was arrested in May 2009 for punching his mother in the face and wrapping an electrical cord around her head. After that, he was sent to a psychiatric facility for seven months.

Police are looking into all stabbings that have occurred citywide since St. Hubert was released, reports CBS New York. That includes the stabbing death of 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland on Friday, just a few blocks away from Sunday's incident.

  • Crimesider Staff

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