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Jordan Williams, charged in fatal J train stabbing in Brooklyn, released from jail

Man charged in deadly subway stabbing arraigned, released
Man charged in deadly subway stabbing arraigned, released 02:11

NEW YORK -- The 20-year-old accused of stabbing another man on the subway in Brooklyn has been released from jail.

Jordan Williams' attorney claims it was a case of self-defense.

The stabbing happened on the J train in Williamsburg on Tuesday night, when police sources say the victim harassed a woman and attacked Williams.

Wearing his high school graduation sweater, Williams embraced his brothers, mom and aunt outside court, days after police say he fatally stabbed 36-year old Devictor Ouedraogo, of Brooklyn.

Williams was arrested for manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, but claimed self-defense.

In court, the judge said the fact that Williams had family support, a steady job at FedEx and no criminal record was part of the reason she did not go for the district attorney's request to keep him in jail on $100,000 bail.

April Williams is his mother.

"I feel the judge was extremely fair. We're extremely remorseful for that. However, it was either him or the guy and he did what he had to do," April Williams said.

Jordan Williams' attorney, Jason Goldman, said in court his client was traveling with his girlfriend when Ouedraogo got on the train. Goldman says passenger video he's seen shows Ouedraogo's behavior.

"The victim was menacing people, as all of us have probably seen on the subway, erratic, deranged, crazy and in many people's faces before he even encounters my client," Goldman said.

The attorney said Ouedraogo approached Jordan Williams' girlfriend and when Williams told him to "chill out" and get away, allegedly, the victim kept harassing the girlfriend, including ripping out her earring.

Goldman said Ouedraogo, who was unarmed, lunged at Jordan Williams and punched him, and that's when the accused removed a folding knife and stabbed Ouedraogo in the chest.

"You have two choices right now. You can sit there and get assaulted, and your friends or family or loved ones can get assaulted and seriously injured. Or you can fight back and get arrested and maybe get charged, maybe go to Rikers, maybe get released. So what are you supposed to do?" Goldman said.

Watch Lisa Rozner's report

Man claiming self-defense in deadly subway stabbing released from jail 02:12

Prior to Thursday's arraignment, Jordan Williams' attorney compared his quick arrest to that of Daniel Penny, who is accused in the subway chokehold death of Jordan Neely. The attorney said Penny was initially released after the incident and his client was not, adding "Is Mr. Williams not getting the same treatment ... because his skin color is different?"

The question of race in Jordan Williams' case made its way to Mayor Eric Adams on Thursday.

"It is very challenging to look at case A and say, 'Why did this happen here,' and case B, why didn't it happen here ... If our criminal justice system operated on that, that would be frightening for me," Adams said.

Law enforcement expert Darrin Porcher says there's a gray area between being a vigilante and a perpetrator, adding the line is crossed when one uses more force than the other.

"The best-case scenario is to try to remove yourself from the situation as soon as possible. Move away from the possible assailant. However, if it's a situation where you're cornered and you have no other choice, you want to use the minimum amount of force necessary to debug the assault of the potential assailant," Porcher said.

Jordan Williams is due back in court on June 20.

The Queens DA declined to comment on Thursday's proceeding.

CBS2 was not able to reach the victim's family and they were not in court.

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