Jersey child stabbed to death in Morningside Heights (updated)
The News is reporting that Alejandro Morales, who has been charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the death of Anthony Maldonado, has a history of encounters with the law. According to records, they say he has multiple prior arrests and convictions for larceny, disorderly conduct and marijuana possession, as well as unresolved cases of menacing, harassment and weapons possession. He's served at least one two-year stretch in prison for a 2005 assault conviction.
Morales, who also calls himself Aaron Morales and Michael Jacob, shares an apartment in the General Grant Houses in Morningside Heights with Maldonado's uncle Carlos Juela. Relatives and neighbors report that he has a history of mental illness and threatening behavior. He's been taken to Bellevue for a psychiatric evaluation.
Earlier coverage is below the fold.
The Times has updated their story to say that Alejandro Morales, a 25 year old suspect police were questioning today, has been arrested. There is still some confusion about Morales' connection to the victim.
Anthony Maldonado was a small child from New Jersey, he was stabbed in an apartment in the General Grant projects in Morningside Heights, and he died at St Lukes Roosevelt Hospital. Nobody seems to be sure about anything else.
According to his mother, Dolores Beatriz Juelas, Anthony was staying with an uncle who rented a room from a woman with three sons who lives in the projects (that story gives his age as ten, but the rest say nine). He's also been reported to be staying with his grandfather or an aunt and uncle and their family, his uncle and three brothers who aren't related to the family, or staying with his grandfather elsewhere and going to visit an uncle.
Young Anthony was, reportedly, playing video games with either the three sons of the household his uncle was renting a room in, who were either strangers or relatives, or his brother and some cousins (his family said he doesn't have a brother). They left, and someone stabbed him in the chest. He woke his uncle, saying "Uncle, uncle, I've been stabbed," and collapsed.
Now, police are saying that he was stabbed by an unidentified 25-year-old, who was either a cousin, a family friend, Anthony's friend, his uncle's roommate, or a stranger to the victim, who lived in the apartment with Anthony's uncle or maybe didn't. The reported ages of the sons of the household in the version with the uncle renting a room are 17, 20 and 24. Juelas now says that Anthony was left alone with a 24-year-old when his brothers went to get food. Anthony's uncle confirmed to the News that the suspect lives in the apartment.
Juelas and Anthony's grandfather both now say that the unidentified suspect killed him over his new PlayStation. Juelas says the suspect's mother confirmed to her that he did it. Police say they aren't looking for any other suspects.
Juelas talked to her son less than an hour before he died.
Note: a fair amount of the contradictory information appears to have come from official sources.