A New Jersey man charged with stabbing straphanger to death at a Manhattan subway station was merely defending himself from a violent attack, his lawyer said Saturday.
Amado Garzon-Morales, who lives in New Brunswick, knifed Julio Hernandez on Oct. 3 during an argument on the J/Z platform inside the Chambers St. station across from City Hall, police said.
But Garzon-Morales’ attorney said the 29-year-old suspect lunged because two people attacked him.
“There is video evidence that depicts a scene that may justify my client’s actions,” said defense attorney Glenn Hardy. “The video shows the deceased attacking my client for no apparent reason.”
The 4-foot-11 Garzon-Morales was arrested Wednesday by the NYPD Warrant Squad at his girlfriend’s home in Richmond Hill, Queens, cops said.
He’s accused of stabbing 22-year-old Hernandez in both legs during the violent 3 p.m. clash. The victim was rushed to New York Presbyterian-Lower Manhattan Hospital, but he could not be saved.
Neither man knew each other, police said at the time, and relatives of the young Brooklyn father were at a loss for an explanation of what the fatal fight was about.
Garzon-Morales was caught on surveillance video released a day after the attack, police said.
When reached at their Queens home Saturday, his girlfriend’s family confirmed the arrest but wouldn’t say anything further.
Garzon-Morales was arraigned on manslaughter charges and was ordered held on $75,000 bail. He has no prior arrests, authorities said.
Hardy said the Mexican immigrant has been in the U.S. for about 14 years and works as a deliveryman for Papa John’s Pizza.
He never surrendered to authorities because “he did not realize the injuries he had caused,” Hardy said.
“He was in fear for his life,” Hardy said. “He had just been attacked by two people.”
Garzon-Morales faces a 25-year prison sentence if he’s convicted, but Hardy said his client “has faith in the criminal justice system.”
“He believes that at the end of the day things will work out,” said the attorney.