The attorney of a 20-year-old woman who was arrested July 9 for stabbing a woman to death at a Brooklyn subway station said his client was fighting for her life.
“There is a video that makes clear that the decedent is the initial aggressor and attacked my client,” Guy Oksenhendler said in court.
“My client is simply trying to defend herself,” Oksenhendler told the Daily News.
According to police, LaTanya Watson, 30, and Mia Simmons, 20, got into a fight while on the subway Brooklyn on July 8 around 9:45 p.m, reported Pix11.
When the two women got off the train at the Brownsville, Brooklyn station, Watson, a mother, allegedly pepper-sprayed Simmons. Simmons then reportedly stabbed Watson in the face, neck, and arms.
Watson was taken to a hospital where she died about 15 minutes later, police said.
Simmons, a home health aide, has since been charged with first-degree manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon, reported CBS.
It is unknown whether the women knew each other or how the fight started.
A trail of blood led detectives to a house where the suspect’s grandmother told officers Simmons was at the Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center getting medical treatment for a cut on her left arm, reported Daily News.
Surveillance footage obtained by the newspaper shows Simmons talking on her cell phone while leaving the subway station before being attacked from behind by Watson.
“As she’s attacking my client, you can see my client continually moving away and moving away,” Oksenhendler told the paper. “The decedent does not stop pursuing and hitting my client. She’s pulling her hair, she’s punching her in the face.”
“At some point in the video you can see how my client puts her hand up to defend herself, which is apparently where she got that several-inch-long gash on her hand,” he added.
The Judge declined Oksenhendler’s request that Simmons be released without bail, who argued that his client has no prior criminal history.
Watson’s fiancé Jerelle Martin told CBS2 he was waiting for Watson to come home from a grocery store where she worked in Red Hook, Brooklyn, but never made it home. Instead, detectives showed up at his house hours later.
“I waited for her a couple of hours. She didn’t show. I texted her, ‘Are you OK?’ No answer,” Martin, who had been dating Watson for 10 years, said. “Thirty minutes after those four hours I waited, detectives knocked on the door.”
“She was the most beautiful woman I ever met in this world. And these females took her life. It still does not feel real,” he told the news outlet.
Watson leaves behind a 12-year-old son.
Social Media Response
Days after the stabbing, people took to social media to vent their disgrace over the vicious attack, but not everyone agreed.
One man wrote on YouTube: “The news is full of bull that girl attack the skinny one from behind and sprayed her with a substance the skinny girl [Simmons] was trying to get away from her look at the original surveillance video”
“The news man puttn out wrong information the girl charged was tryn to get away from her i saw the video she was pulling her hair and maseing the girl she was tryna get away but the girl who died was bigger and the girl defended herself,” one woman wrote.
… My condolences to the fam and blessing for the girl on jail…the 1 who died was the aggressor.”