The woman accused of stabbing a mother-of-one to death on a New York City subway platform was defending herself from attack, her lawyer has claimed.
Mia Simmons, 20, appeared in court on Wednesday to face charges of manslaughter and criminal possession of a weapon after 30-year-old Latanya Watson died from wounds to the face, neck and arm.
Surveillance footage captured the horrific moment Simmons appears to repeatedly plunge a knife into Watson in a random attack, at around 9.15pm Monday in Brownsville, Brooklyn.
But her attorney Guy Oksenhendler said Simmons wrestled the knife away from victim Watson in a fight for her life.
He told The New York Daily News: ‘My client is simply trying to defend herself.
‘At some point in the video you can see how my client puts her hand up to defend herself, which is apparently where she got that several-inch-long gash on her hand.
‘As she’s attacking my client, you can see my client continually moving away and moving away. The decedent does not stop pursuing and hitting my client. She’s pulling her hair, she’s punching her in the face.’
In court he added: ‘There is a video that makes clear that the decedent is the initial aggressor and attacked my client.’
Watson, 30, was rushed to the hospital and later died from wounds to the face, neck and arm.
Simmons wore a downcast expression as she was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court.
Mia Simmons, 20, appeared in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Wednesday (pictured) to face charges for fatally stabbing a mother-of-one inside a New York City subway station on Monday
Latanya Watson, 30, (pictured) died after suffering multiple stab wounds. It’s believed that she and Simmons were strangers to each other, and the cause of their fight remains unclear
Surveillance footage captured the horrific moment Simmons (in white) allegedly plunged a knife into Watson (in beige) at around 9.15pm Monday in the Sutter Avenue station
It’s believed that Simmons and Watson were strangers to each other, and the cause of their fight remains unclear.
The pair reportedly got into an altercation while riding a 3 Line that then spilled onto the mezzanine at the Sutter Avenue-Rutland Road station.
Video shows the two women pushing through the turnstiles before they grab each other by the hair and scuffle.
Watson, clad in a beige top and blue jeans, appears to lunge at the other woman who quickly fights back.
Simmons wore a downcast expression as she was arraigned in Brooklyn Criminal Court on Wednesday (above)
Simmons, wearing a white t-shirt and tattered jeans, is pushed up against a wall, before she appears to be pepper sprayed by Watson.
The assailant then appears to brandish a small knife, and can be seen jabbing the weapon into Watson, who clambers off several seconds later.
Simmons was arrested on Tuesday night in connection with the attack. Police said she was also stabbed during the altercation, and officers tracked her down by following a trail of blood out of the train station.
The blood trail from the gruesome scene led police to the suspect’s grandmother’s home, where they were told the suspect was at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, sources said.
Watson, who lives two blocks from the station, leaves behind her fiancé and 12-year-old son.
‘My daughter was a beautiful person,’ the victim’s father told the New York Daily News outside her home Tuesday.
‘She had a job, she was going to work. We just want to bury her body.’
Watson’s aunt, Joan McGriff, said of her niece: ‘She was very jolly, very sweet, very respectful. She minded her own business. Whatever happened here, I don’t know. I was shocked when I got the news this morning.’
A neighbor said Watson always carried pepper spray with her for protection, but that she was shocked to hear of her involvement in the deadly spat.
‘[Latanya] never had no problems, was always by herself, minding her business. Never in any type of drama. I never even seen her argue with nobody,’ Kimberly Jones told the Daily News. ‘That girl didn’t have to stab her. That was somebody’s mother, somebody’s fiancé.’
Simmons and Watson reportedly got into an altercation while riding a 3 Line that then spilled onto the mezzanine at the Sutter Avenue-Rutland Road station
Blood can be seen gushing from Watson’s neck after she was stabbed. She was transported to a hospital and pronounced dead soon after