THE BRONX (PIX11) — A lawyer for a 14-year-old boy accused of stabbing his classmate to death at their Bronx school said his young client was acting in self defense, and loved ones allege the suspect was a victim of bullying.
“He’s a great kid. He’s a good kid,” said Christopher Paulino, who knows Noel Estevez.
Estevez, 14, is accused of killing his classmate at IS 117 after school Thursday afternoon.
Thursday morning, just yards from where the stabbing took place, school police were out in force.
The 14-year-old victim, Timothy Crump, reportedly lived with his mother a few miles away from the school.
At Estevez’s building, which sits blocks away from Yankee Stadium, Paulino said Estevez did not have much of a life at home.
“He’s hardly seen his mom. His mom was always in jail or if not, doing stupid stuff and his father is never around, either. He’s always working,” Paulino said.
Paulino added that as a result of spending most of his time alone, Estevez latched onto what he called the wrong group of friends.
Paulino along with the building’s super and a woman who knew Estevez and his father told PIX11 News the 14-year-old had just left a hospital stay for mental issues that lasted about three weeks. In addition, they all said Estevez was the victim of harsh bullying by his so-called friends at school and in the neighborhood.
“They’d piss on his door. They’d wait for him to go to school in the morning in order to pick on him. I’ve seen it before, but they were his friends. They would also be with him,” Paulino said.
The Bronx District Attorney is charging Estevez as an adult which caught one world renowned forensic psychiatrist by surprise.
“This may be a bit heavy-handed,” Dr. N.G. Berril said.
Berril, who is not affiliated with the case, told PIX11 News that bullying in kids produces different results than with adults.
“Kids by nature are more impulsive than adults. They take things to heart,” he said.
Once the mental state of Estevez is taken into consideration, Berrill said there are still too many unanswered questions.
“Was he on his medicines? Who was monitoring this kid? Was the school aware of the fact that he needed to be on medicine? So there are so many questions and so many issues that still need to be explored,” Berrill said.