MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT—The man accused of stabbing a 31-year-old to death on East Fifth Street last month pleaded not guilty on Thursday — and claimed instead he himself was the victim of a gang assault, according to court documents.
Carl Knox, 47, pleaded not guilty to a host of charges, including second-degree murder, first-degree manslaughter, assault and possession of a criminal weapon for allegedly killing Corey Capers in front of 737 E. 5th St. on June 9.
Knox told authorities the stabbing stemmed from a heated argument between him and his girlfriend, according to court documents.
The fight began to escalate inside Knox's East 5th Street apartment—he said his girlfriend threw a glass at him and lunged at him with a knife—while a group, including Capers, were outside in a courtyard.
Knox said his girlfriend's granddaughter, who was inside the apartment, yelled to the group outside that he was "beating up grandma and someone should kick his ass."
When Knox ran out of the building, he was chased down the street and attacked by the men, he claimed, according to the documents. He said he had bottles thrown at him and was beaten. Then, Capers lunged at him with a box cutter, missed, and Knox stabbed him.
Knox, who turned himself in a few days after the murder, told authorities "he did something really bad," the documents noted.
Capers, a Lower East Side resident of Vladeck Houses near the East River, had a son and was engaged to be married.
Knox, who has also gone by the name Abdul Hakim, has a history of 26 prior arrests including an attempted rape and assault, according to court records.
He is being held without bail.