Man won't be charged in girl's death

July 31, 2008 4:51:42 PM PDT
A grand jury has refused to indict a man who was chased by a mob and fatally stabbed a 15-year-old girl in the ensuing melee, but he still is being held by immigration authorities, his lawyer said Thursday. Winston Alladin, 39, insulted a mother for cutting in line in front of him at a bus stop and then was chased by several angry passengers and a neighborhood mob, police said at the time of the June incident.

Alladin told grand jurors that he did not mean to hurt anyone and only pulled a knife to scare off 10 or more teenage attackers who followed him off the bus and beat him, said lawyer Kevin O'Donnell. Alladin stabbed Keyanna Jones in the chest when she went at him, O'Donnell said.

The people in the mob threw rocks at him, rammed him with shopping carts and took turns punching him, and two of the teenagers spoke of having a gun and a knife, O'Donnell said.

"This was truly a case of self-defense," the lawyer said. "He was in legitimate fear of his life."

Alladin is not a U.S. citizen, but O'Donnell said he believed the Trinidad native paid taxes and had permission to work in the U.S. Spokespeople for the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement did not immediately return telephone calls seeking comment.

A spokesman for the Queens district attorney's office confirmed the grand jury had declined to deliver an indictment on Tuesday, but he would not comment further because the case had been sealed.

At the time of the incident, the girl's mother, Shaqwana Jackson, told the Daily News that she couldn't get over seeing her daughter, who had recently finished her first year of high school, in the morgue. Jackson could not be reached Thursday because she had no listed phone number.

O'Donnell said his client had a knife in his bag because he had bought it at the department store where he worked and planned to send it to his family in Trinidad as a gift.

It was unclear whether immigration authorities would seek to deport Alladin, who remained in detention as of Thursday, but after the trauma of recent weeks, he wants to return home to Trinidad, O'Donnell said.