NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A man accused of stabbing two children in an elevator, killing one of them, was found guilty in a Brooklyn courtroom Tuesday afternoon.
Prosecutors said in June 2014 11-year-old Mikayla Capers and her friend, PJ Avitto, were playing outside in their city housing development in East New York when the two went inside to get icees.
It was then that they ran into Daniel St. Hubert, who followed them into the elevator.
St. Hubert started “repeatedly stabbing” them, Mikayla testified last month. When he stopped, she said St. Hubert ran out and she knew PJ was dead.
“His eyes were open,” Mikayla said. “There was a bunch of blood on the floor.”
Defense attorney Howard Greenberg called Mikayla “unworthy of belief” following her testimony. On cross-examination, he tried to poke holes in the child’s story, getting her to admit she tells white lies sometimes.
Jurors found St. Hubert guilty of murder and attempted murder.
“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,” Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez said in a statement following the verdict. “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.”
Mikayla was not in court for the verdict but her great-grandmother says she was confident she already knew the outcome.
“She’s always believed that the bad man would be put away,” Regenia Trevathan said. “He would never be able to hurt nobody. We tell her that.”
CBS2 received a video message from Mikayla’s grandmother, showing the 11-year-old expressing her gratitude.
“I’m very grateful for all the people that helped me through the process of growing to get this bad man put away,” Mikayla said. “PJ now can finally rest in peace.”
St. Hubert faces 50 years to life in prison.