Thursday, December 25, 2014

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Brooklyn Stabbing Victim Laid to Rest

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Hundreds of people gathered to say goodbye Friday to six-year-old stabbing victim Prince Joshua "PJ" Avitto as the man charged with killing him remains held without bail.

Avitto's casket arrived at St. Paul's Baptist Church in East New York for funeral services Friday morning.

Dignitaries, including Mayor Bill de Blasio, were in attendance. The service ended with the releasing of doves.

Friends and family members are remembering him as a kind and lovable child.

The boy's father, Nicholas Avitto, showed NY1 a card that one of his son's friend made for him. It read, "I wish you would not have to die. I feel so sad that you had to die this way. I know you, Prince, are looking at me. I love you so much."

"I bleed for them and I pray to God that everyone will get together and pray for our little children," said Avitto's neighbor, Margarita Morales.

"He was an adorable little boy, very loving, always wanted to hug you. Very, very bright little boy," said Janet James, Avitto's Pre-k teacher.

Meanwhile, Daniel St. Hubert, 27, faces several charges, including second degree murder and attempted murder.

He appeared in court again Friday morning with a newly appointed public defendant.

His attorney did not make a statement to the judge, saying he first intends to have a long conversation with his client. He told the media he only met him briefly before entering the courtroom.

Prosecutors on Thursday asked the judge to remand him, calling him a flight risk and referring to his violent criminal history.

A large crowd gathered outside the 90th Precinct where St. Hubert was being held before his court appearance Thursday night.

He was booed as he was led out of the station house in handcuffs.

Police say St. Hubert fatally stabbed Prince Joshua Avitto and critically injured his seven-year-old friend Mikayla Capers inside an elevator at the Boulevard Houses in East New York last Sunday.

Investigators are also looking at the possibility that St. Hubert also stabbed 18-year-old Tanaya Copeland to death a week ago in the same area.

Authorities also want to know if St. Hubert was involved in any of the reported stabbings in the city since he was released from prison two weeks ago.

That includes Wednesday morning's attack on a subway platform in Chelsea.

Police say St. Hubert was on supervised release after serving five years behind bars for attempted murder and assault.

They say in 2009, St. Hubert punched his mother and tried to strangle her with a telephone wire.

St. Hubert's next court appearance is June 11.

He faces 50 years to life in prison if convicted.

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