Lawyer Says Fatal Staten Island Stabbing Was an Accident

By Nicholas Rizzi on December 18, 2012 2:13pm 

 James Parker, 59, of Starlight Pa., was arrested for allegedly stabbing his daughter's boyfriend, Henry Raftrey, 39, to death. Parker's lawyer said that a third person pushed Raftrey into the knife.
James Parker, 59, of Starlight Pa., was arrested for allegedly stabbing his daughter's boyfriend, Henry Raftrey, 39, to death. Parker's lawyer said that a third person pushed Raftrey into the knife.
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STAPLETON — The lawyer of a man accused of fatally stabbing his daughter’s boyfriend to death said his client was merely defending himself when a third person pushed the boyfriend into the knife.

James Parker, 59, of Starlight, Pa., was arrested and charged with murder after cops found Henry Raftrey, 39, in his home at Sunnyside home on Monday with a knife wound to his stomach, cops said.

But Parker's lawyer, Louis E. Diamond, said his client did not intentionally stab Raftrey.

“[Parker’s] standing there with the knife in his hand and [Raftrey] gets pushed into it,” Diamond said outside Parker’s arraignment.

“My client did not stab anybody,” he said.

Diamond said that Parker, who was visiting his daughter, was only holding the knife to defend himself as he demanded Raftrey leave the house after the boyfriend became drunk.

“The guy was on a bender,” Diamond said. “The autopsy will indicate exactly what he consumed.”

At Parker’s arraignment Tuesday, several of his family members sat in silence as Judge Alan Meyer remanded him without bail.

Cops responded to the 911 call at 6:45 a.m. at 1141 Victory Blvd. Raftrey was rushed to Richmond University Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

A prosecutor said during the arraignment that Parker allegedly stabbed Raftrey, who had a child with Parker’s daughter, after an argument over “child care.” Parker also had a prior 2005 DWI charge against him, the lawyer said.

Diamond said that Raftrey, a former boxer, was physically abusive to Parker’s daughter during the couple's seven year relationship.

“It’s not just a one or two time thing," Diamond said. "It's a way of life."

Outside Stapleton Criminal Court,  Parker's family members, including his daughter, declined to talk to reporters.

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