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Teen Charged With Beating Mother to Death May Soon Get Out of Jail

Henry Wachtel at his arraignment Wednesday.
Henry Wachtel at his arraignment Wednesday.
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Pool, NY Post

MANHATTAN SUPREME COURT—A Fordham University student charged with beating his mother — beloved LaGuardia High School teacher Karyn Kay — to death during a violent epileptic fit may soon be leaving jail for a psychiatric facility, thanks to possible bail package.

Prosecutors said Wednesday they are considering a bail proposal for 19-year-old Henry Wachtel, charged in April with murdering Kay in their Hell's Kitchen apartment after suffering a seizure.

Wachtel, wearing a tan collared shirt, sat slumped in his chair and remained silent during a brief court appearance Wednesday. The courtroom was filled with friends and family — including Wachtel’s father, Edward Wachtel, who declined to comment.

Wachtel's lawyer, Lloyd Epstein, said he'd had "extensive discussions" about the possible deal with prosecutors.

Though details about the proposal were not hashed during the court appearance, Epstein told reporters after the hearing that "any bail package would inevitably include his [Wachtel's] admission to a psychiatric facility."

Epstein has argued his client never intended to kill his mother and that an uncontrollable epileptic fit is to blame for the death. He says his client was blacked out during the seizure and has no memory of the fatal beating.

According to prosecutors, Kay called 911 for help when her son began seizing, only to cry out to the operator in horror when he allegedly attacked her. 

A voice believed to be Wachtel's can be heard on a 911 recording crying, "Mommy, Mommy, please don't die," moments before police arrived to find Kay, 63, lying lifeless in a pool of blood

A decision on the proposed package is due on Aug. 29.

Wachtel has been held without bail on Rikers Island since his arrest in April.

"It's very for difficult for him," said Epstein. "I think he misses his mother."