Young girl who survived stabbing testifies in trial

Posted: Updated:
Daniel St. Hubert Daniel St. Hubert
St. Hubert's defense attorney Howard Greenberg St. Hubert's defense attorney Howard Greenberg

Mikayla Capers, the girl who survived an East New York elevator stabbing that left her best friend dead, took the stand Tuesday to testify against the man accused of the attack.

Prosecutors say Daniel St. Hubert attacked her and PJ Avitto, 7 and 6 years old at the time respectively, in an elevator at the Boulevard Houses in the summer of 2014. As News 12 has reported, the two children were on their way to get ice cream.

Rochelle Copeland, whose daughter Tanaya Copeland was killed days before just blocks away, sat in the courtroom in a show of support. St. Hubert was labeled a person of interest in that crime but not charged.

As the girl, now 11, testified, she clutched a Pokémon card that her slain friend held in his pocket when they were attacked.

She told the court that St. Hubert followed them from the hallway into the elevator, told them to shut up and stabbed them each multiple times. She recounted how, as her young friend laid on the floor, covered in blood and with his eyes still open, she crawled out of the elevator.

St. Hubert's defense attorney Howard Greenberg called her a liar.

"Consider her body language," he said. "When children are intending to lie, they cover their faces with two hands. They don't make eye contact."

Greenberg repeatedly asked the child if she saw St. Hubert they day she was stabbed multiple times, or if she recognized him from the news.

She testified that she learned who he was from the news, but also said she remembered his face from the attack.

"Her reality was told to her on TV," Greenberg argued.

The girl's great-grandmother, Regenia Trevathan, was livid outside the courtroom.

"How dare he," she said. "I know what tragedy is. When something bad happens to you, you will never forget."

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