Harold Wachtel, the epileptic 19-year-old charged with murdering his mother-- beloved La Guardia High School teacher, Pratt professor, and writer Karyn Kay--gave an emotional jailhouse interview to the city's tabloids Thursday, insisting he wasn't conscious during the killing and remembers nothing from that fateful morning in Kay's Hell's Kitchen apartment.
“I didn’t kill her, I lost her," Wachtel told The New York Post, from inside his jail cell on Rikers Island, where he is being held without bail. "And one day, my entire life changed forever.”
Kay was beaten to death Tuesday morning while making a 911 call to get help for Wachtel, who was having a seizure. Kay can be heard on the call screaming, "He’s coming after me! No! No! No!” as Wachtel reportedly punched and kicked her. Then, after a brief silence, Wachtel can be heard screaming, "Mommy, Mommy, please don’t die!”
When cops arrived at the West 55th Street home at 9:28AM, Kay was in a pool of blood on the floor. She suffered a broken nose and eye socket, as well as a fractured skull and ribs. Wachtel, according to prosecutor Courtney Graves, was "covered in blood, wild eyed and appeared to be very agitated." Wachtel told police, "It was a mistake."
A mixed martial arts enthusiast, Wachtel allegedly used nothing but his bare hands.
Wachtel's lawyer claims his client's epilepsy drugs are to blame for the violent outburst. "Heavy medications could sometimes have unforeseen circumstances for epileptics," Lloyd Epstein said in court Wednesday.
“I don’t know what happened, I was unconscious," Wachtel told The Post. "When I woke up, I was on the floor and the police were there. I thought they were there for me.”
“I miss my mom so much,” said Wachtel, according to The Daily News. “No one’s even given me condolences ... I just want to go home, but there is no home.”
"What’s today, Thursday?” he asked at one point. “I should be at theology class at six o’clock. I’ll never finish school. I’ll never get a job.”
Wechtel also said his father, a professor at Fordham University where he is a student, believes in him.
"My dad says my family is behind me,” said Wachtel, “I’m not a killer. I shouldn’t be here. I didn’t do this.”
The Morning Email helps you start your workday with everything you need to know: breaking news, entertainment and a dash of fun. Learn more