BROOKLYN — The man accused of fatally stabbing a 6-year-old boy and wounding a 7-year-old girl in East New York last month told police after the attack that he believed in the power of the devil — but still wanted the aid of an attorney.
Daniel St. Hubert — who is accused of murdering Prince Joshua “P.J.”Avitto and critically injuring his friend Mikayla Capers inside an elevator at the Boulevard Houses on June 1 — told police who arrested him several days later, “Satan has powers and controls things,” according to prosecutors.
St. Hubert, 27, who had been released from jail just weeks before the attack, added, “I think I need a lawyer,” prosecutors said.
The statement was unsealed after St. Hubert's arraignment in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Wednesday after he was indicted on murder and assault charges.
St. Hubert’s defense attorney, Edward Friedman, said that he is still gathering evidence and has yet make any determinations about St. Hubert's prior or current mental state. He added that St. Hubert's statements to police could speak to "his state of mind at the time of his arrest."
St. Hubert's family have said he struggled with mental illness, and that he did not get sufficient treatment either in jail or after his release. Hubert’s mother told the Daily News he suffers from schizophrenia, and blamed his mental problems for his 2009 attack on her in her own home, in which he choked her unconscious while attempting to kill her.
St. Hubert spent five years in jail for the attack on his mother.
Following his release, St. Hubert is also suspected of stabbing 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland to death on May 30 while Copeland was walking on a desolate street near the Boulevard Houses on her way to meeting up fellow marching band members.
Copeland was honored with a mural in East New York on Tuesday. Her marching band, Royal Knights, played “Missing You” during the ceremony.
Police believe that Hubert also of a homeless man on a Chelsea subway platform
He is being held in Bellevue Hospital without bail and is due back in court on Aug. 8.