Christopher Drayton, 16, was arrested on April 11 and charged with second-degree murder in the fatal stabbing of his mother's fiance, Darrell Paige, 41, at the family's home on 228th Street. Drayton's high-profile attorney, Mel Sachs, contends that Drayton acted in self-defense after Paige was involved in a domestic dispute with his mother, Michelle White. Police told the TimesLedger earlier that Paige allegedly demanded money for crack from White and threw a stereo and five-pound dumbbell at Drayton before he was stabbed with a kitchen knife."He is extremely happy to be back (home)," Sachs said. "It was recognized that he should be released and not held. His conduct is recognized in the law as being justified."Drayton's bail was reduced when Queens District Attorney Richard Brown "made a determination after reviewing the circumstances of the case post-arrest," a spokesman with the DA's office said. He would not elaborate on exactly what the DA reviewed."Prosecutors are proceeding and the charges remain the same," the spokesman added. The New York Post reported that Assistant District Attorney Neil Morse told the court that the prosecution does not buy Drayton's defense. The paper also cited Morse as saying that Drayton allegedly hid the knife he used under his pillow because he was anticipating a fight between his mother and Paige after White called him to warn him of Paige's enraged mood. The TimesLedger reported White is a martial-arts expert and the DA's office is using that information to prove Drayton did not act in self-defense. As the DA's office and Sachs continue negotiations, Drayton's lawyer said he does not expect the case to go to trial."I'm confident the case will be dismissed," Sachs said. "A person is entitled to use deadly force when deadly force is being used or threatened to be used," he added. Reports indicate that police officers were called to Paige's home "numerous" times because of domestic disputes during the past year, but charges were never pressed in those instances against Paige or White.
©2005 Community News Group
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