Sachs, who recently represented rapper Lil' Kim in a federal perjury case, said the second- degree murder charges against his client, Christopher Drayton, 16, of Cambria Heights, are unfounded."He should be commended for this act of courage," Sachs said in a phone interview. "He was protecting and safeguarding his own mother."Drayton was arrested on April 12 when police were called to the family's home on 228th St. in Cambria Heights after Drayton's mother, Michelle White, and her fiance Darrell Paige became involved in a domestic dispute over Paige's demanding money for drugs, according to police.A source close to the investigation said Drayton stabbed Paige numerous times after he hurled a stereo and a five-pound dumbbell at him while trying to break up the fight between Paige and his mother.The Queens district attorney's office has painted a different picture of how the incident occurred."There was no self-defense," said Assistant District Attorney Neil Morse told the court, according to the New York Post. The Post also reported Morse as saying that Drayton allegedly hid the knife used in the killing under his pillow in anticipation of a fight after his mother called him to warn him of Paige's enraged mood. The police source also said officers had been called to the house "numerous" times in the past year because of domestic disputes but no charges had been pressed against Paige or White. White is said to be a martial-arts expert and the DA's office is using that fact to solidify its case that this was not an act of self-defense and White could have protected herself.White could not be reached for comment. A spokeswoman for District Attorney Richard Brown said Morse, or any other assistant district attorney are barred from speaking to the media and could not comment on the case. "A lot has been said about this case, which is not accurate," Sachs said, when asked about White's fighting abilities. "That has been blown magnificently out of proportion." Sachs is also taking exception with the $450,000 bail that was set for Drayton."We're going to try to get that reduced," Sachs said. "This is a 16-year-old boy with no record, whose conduct is recognized as a matter of law and fact as being legal. It is difficult to understand what motivation for this prosecution is."Drayton is currently being held at Rikers Island awaiting a court date that has yet to be determined.Reach reporter Peter A. Sutters Jr. by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-229-0300 Ext. 173.
©2005 Community News Group
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