Advocates: Bodega worker charged with murder in stabbing acted in self-defense
Advocates say a bodega worker charged with murder in a fatal stabbing at his store was acting in self-defense.
Bodega employees gathered in Lower Manhattan Tuesday to urge Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg to drop the murder charges against 61-year-old Jose Alba.
Police say Alba fatally stabbed 35-year-old Austin Simon earlier this month. Surveillance video caught the entire encounter.
Advocates argue Alba was defending himself from an ex-con who was attacking the worker because his girlfriend couldn't pay for chips.
Fernando Mateo, the spokesperson for United Bodegas of America, says he’s optimistic the case won't make it to trial after he sat in on the meeting with the district attorney.
“We’re very hopeful that Jose Alba's case will be dismissed and will be dropped by the district attorney. He has not made that determination yet, but he certainly left the doors and the windows open for something like that to happen,” Mateo says.
Initially, Alba was being held on Rikers Island on a $500,000 bond, but it was reduced to $50,000.
Alba is at home awaiting his next court appearance, which is scheduled for next week.