Beth Fertig is WNYC’s Contributing Editor for Education. She previously covered politics, which included City Hall during the Giuliani administration, and the U.S. Senate campaigns of Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton. She also covered transportation and infrastructure.
Teen Accused of Killing Classmate Appears in Family Court
Monday, July 07, 2014 - 05:52 PM
Noel Estevez, the14-year-old accused of stabbing a classmate to death last month at his Bronx intermediate school, appeared in Family Court for a scheduling hearing Monday.
Attorneys for the teen and the city spent about 25 minutes meeting with the judge and agreed to come back as soon as July 16 to go over the evidence. The two sides said they are cooperating during the discovery phase, as the district attorney turns over documents and other evidence is collected.
Fourteen year-old Estevez is charged with second degree manslaughter in the death of Timothy Crump, a classmate at I.S. 117 in Morrisania. He is now being held at a juvenile detention facility. Estevez's family has claimed the boy was bullied by Crump and that he also suffered from bipolar disorder. He was originally charged as an adult, but the case was moved to Family Court, where Estevez's Legal Aid Society attorneys argued unsuccessfully last week for his release from detention.
On Monday, Estevez looked very different from photos taken after his arrest. His long hair had been shaved, making him look even younger than 14, and he wore a pink dress shirt and black slacks. He sat next to his father throughout the hearing and often looked at an aunt seated in the back of the room. At one point, a court officer instructed him to stop trying to communicate with her. The boy was not handcuffed and another court officer stayed right behind him the entire time. His father, Felix Estevez, stared straight ahead but patted the boy's arm when the hearing ended.
Michael Corriero, a former criminal court judge and executive director of the New York Center for Juvenile Justice, said Family Court cases are supposed to move quickly, "because of the recognition that we should be intervening as quickly as possible with respect to young people and the issues that they present to the court."
He said that presents a challenge for both sides, as the prosecution seeks to collect as much evidence as possible which the defense will then challenge if it believes any interviews or documents were improperly obtained.