Court hearing no laughing matter
A jury was asked to hear the case against 17-year-old John Katehis, the Queens teen charged with butchering WABC radio broadcaster George Weber last year during a twisted sexual rendezvous in the victim’s Carroll Gardens home.
But the apparently unhinged Katehis may sabotage his own case if he doesn’t take his impending trial seriously.
According to published reports, Katehis was seen “laughing and chuckling” as he watched his taped confession to homicide detectives during a recent court hearing.
If this happened in front of a jury, Katehis’ callous actions would have garnered little sympathy for the teen, who is continuing to claim he killed Weber in self defense.
Prosecutors allege that Katehis met Weber through a Craigslist add and agreed to come to the older man’s apartment on Henry Street knowing he would be paid for sex.
Investigators believe Weber was killed when the kinky sex play got out of hand.
Yet Katehis’ attorney Jeffrey Schwartz asserts Weber lured the teen to his apartment and plied him with booze and cocaine before demanding sexual favors from him.
“It was like a spider luring him to his web,” Schwartz told reporters. “He was lured into the apartment and Weber wanted him to do some funky stuff.”
In the confession, Katehis — who was chuckling then as well — noshed on a donut as he remembered how Weber wanted his hands and feet bound and how he asked the teen to “smother” him.
But things got bloody when Weber pulled a knife, Katehis said.
“I got paranoid. I went to grab the knife; he was supposed to be smothered, not [do] something with a knife,” Katehis explained before pointing to his throat. “The knife just goes in and jabs him in the neck.”
Katehis claims he only stabbed Weber once, but the city’s Medical Examiner said something more grisly had transpired: Weber was stabbed 50 times as he died, investigators were told.
Once Weber was dead, Katehis shucked off his bloody clothes, put on some of Weber’s and fled. He was arrested a few days later at a friend’s home upstate and has been incarcerated ever since, according to prosecutors.
Kings County District Attorney Charles Hynes is investigating the city’s Administration of Children’s Services to see if it is to blame in the death of a four-year-old Bedford Stuyvesant girl.
Little Marchella Pierce, who was born with a medical condition that required her to use feeding and breathing tubes and spend most of her life under medical supervision, weighed just 18 pounds when she died on Sept. 2.
The child had ligature marks on her wrists and ankles consistent with being bound by cords, prosecutors said.
Pierce’s mother, Carlotta Brett-Pierce, was taken into custody after the 4-year-old’s death, accused of beating and whipping her daughter in the weeks leading up to her death. One of the attacks took place just before Pierce died, when the hungry girl dared to get a snack from the refrigerator, prosecutors were told.
But, since the exact cause of Pierce’s death remains a mystery, prosecutors have yet to charge Brett-Pierce withmurder.
But the drug addicted mother may not solely be to blame.
Hynes asked a special investigative jury on Oct. 14 to see if the city’s Administration of Children’s Services could be culpable in Pierce’s death.
City investigators had been monitoring Pierce, but hadn’t checked on the girl during the three months leading up to her death.
Hynes wants to know why the visits never took place, as well as the role of the Child Development Support Corporation, a private agency the city hired to follow Pierce’s case.
“Given the history of the Nixzmary Brown tragedy and the city’s failure to protect that child, I am sufficiently troubled by the death of this child that I want to find out why she died,” Hynes told reporters.
Representatives to both the city’s Administration of Children’s Services and the Child Development Support Corporation said they were cooperating with the probe.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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