Donald Day to represent student charged with school bus stop stabbing

Donald Day, right, pictured representing Amy Chesser in 2009, has been chosen as the defense attorney for Jorge Saavedra in the stabbing death of fellow student Dylan Nuno. Greg Kahn/Staff

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Donald Day, right, pictured representing Amy Chesser in 2009, has been chosen as the defense attorney for Jorge Saavedra in the stabbing death of fellow student Dylan Nuno. Greg Kahn/Staff

— A private attorney in Naples has taken the case of a Palmetto Ridge High freshman charged in the stabbing death of another student, and he said bullying may explain his client’s actions.

Donald Day acknowledged he has little information outside of media and limited law enforcement reports. Yet he said the various accounts suggest a longer history between the teenagers.

“We don’t know much,” Day said. “We’re doing our own investigation.”

Saavedra’s family hired Day last week, the attorney said. He has met once with the suspect, Jorge Saavedra, although he declined to elaborate on their discussion.

Saavedra, who turned 15 on Saturday, is charged with aggravated manslaughter in the stabbing death of sophomore Dylan Nuno, 16, near a bus stop in Golden Gate Estates. The attack came during a fistfight between the two teenagers, moments after they left a school bus.

Several classmates and fellow bus riders said Saavedra was the object of teasing, or bullying, and that he tried to avoid a confrontation. Others say the fight was arranged.

No one seemed aware that Saavedra was armed with a knife.

The teenager remains in juvenile detention pending his arraignment, currently scheduled for Feb. 14.

Prosecutors are not required to turn over evidence in the case until after the arraignment, and Day explained he has little information at such an early phase. He said his investigator will look to speak with classmates and fellow bus riders of the pair, and he suggested Facebook activity among students may be insightful.

The Daily News reported last week that some users posted taunting messages on Facebook pages that memorialize Nuno. It remains unclear whether those users knew either teenager or were merely responding to media reports.

Friends and family of Nuno have denied suggestions the teenager bullied anyone.

Prosecutors will reveal during the arraignment whether they will keep the arresting charge, aggravated manslaughter, or charge Saavedra with something more serious. They could also choose to charge him as an adult.

Day suggested a murder charge would surprise him.

“I would guess that the police don’t have probable cause that there’s any malicious intent to charge murder,” he said.

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