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East Village Man Deemed Unfit to Face Charges in Slashing Death of Graffiti Artist

By DNAinfo Staff on November 10, 2010 5:56pm  | Updated on November 11, 2010 5:56am

Jairo Pastoressa, 25, was deemed unfit to stand trial.
Jairo Pastoressa, 25, was deemed unfit to stand trial.
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Pool photo by Jefferson Siegel

By Shayna Jacobs

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT — An East Village graffiti artist was deemed mentally unfit Wednesday to face charges that he fatally stabbed a fellow tagger in the neck in a dispute over a girl, prosecutors said.

The murder case of Jairo Pastoressa, 25, will be put on hold while the alleged murderer is held and treated at Kirby Forensic Psychiatric Center on Ward's Island. Pastoressa's lawyer would not disclose his client's diagnosis.

Pastoressa is accused of slashing Christopher Jusko, 21, with an 8.5 inch blade when the pair decided to settle their dispute "like men" in front of 272 East 7th St. last month, prosecutors said.

His case will only proceed "when and if" he is deemed fit to proceed by doctors, his lawyer said.

"He was always kind of out there," said Will Pentecost, 24, who's known Pastoressa since preschool. "He was kind of a recluse, even though he surrounded himself with people."

Pentecost also described Pastoressa as being full of "bravado and machismo," but thought that was a front.

"I think deep down, underneath it all, there really was something wrong," Pentecost said. Many young men in the neighborhood are trying to be "a showman and putting on mask and trying to look cool in front of cute girls."

Pastoressa has been held at Rikers Island since his arrest on Oct. 25.