BRONX (WABC) --A 14-year-old boy accused of stabbing another teen to death in the Bronx is now indicted for Manslaughter.
A Grand Jury indicted Noel Estevez for Manslaughter in the 2nd degree on Monday and moved the case to a family court.
Originally Estevez was charged as an adult with Murder for killing the 14-year-old Timothy Crump on June 18th outside Intermediate School 117 in the Bronx.
Noel and Timothy confronted each other Wednesday afternoon outside I.S. 117 in the Bronx. Investigators said Timothy threw the first punch then repeatedly struck Noel in the face with his knee.
In court on Thursday, prosecutors read part of Noel's confession: "The kid kept hitting me with his fists, so I pulled the knife and stabbed him four or five times." Noel is being charged as an adult.
Defense attorney Eric Poulos argued that this is a clear case of self-defense. He described the events that led to a the stabbing, including repeated calls to police complaining that a group, including Timothy, was pounding and urinating on Noel's door. The group threatened to kill him, Poulos said, and Noel's request to switch schools three months ago was never granted.
Thursday was supposed to be Noel's first day back at school. "They didn't even give him a chance to breathe," Poulos said. "They went after him right away, like a pack of wolves."
Noel and Timothy were Facebook friends, but classmates said their real-world friendship unraveled in recent months with taunts and threats.
Timothy was suspended Dec. 16 for the entire school year after punching out another student, but he has routinely loitered at or near the school in the past several months. At some point, he and Noel had a dispute over a stolen cell phone.
That dispute, investigators believe may have been what sparked yesterday's deadly confrontation.
"He never told me he was going to bring a knife to school. He just said he was afraid about what was going to happen to him. He was telling his father, 'I don't wanna go to school because they're gonna kill me'," said Marisol Perez-Estevez, a family friend.
Friends said Estevez used to love school and even got an award for perfect attendance, but he missed the past three weeks after he tried to hang himself at his apartment.
"We are getting information as we speak, but the reality is that this is something that shouldn't happen. Certainly shouldn't happen to a 14-year- old," said schools Chancellor Carmen Farina.
At I.S. 117 earlier on Thursday, students signed a small memorial for Timothy. Parents of other students were jittery about sending them back there on Thursday.
Shamil Santos, an eighth-grader, said the atmosphere at school was dark. "It was pretty awkward ... teachers were sad (and) some of them were crying...it wasn't nice."
"It's not good, because my kid go to that school and I feel uncomfortable. I don't know what to say," said parent Jose DeRoasario.
Mayor Bill de Blasio released a statement calling the stabbing "a painful moment for all of us."
"I have directed First Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris to coordinate all of the relevant agencies to assist in this investigation, including the NYPD, DOE, and ACS," it said. "Their work will, by necessity, take a hard look at how we as a city address mental health and safety in our schools."