DICKINSON — A judge on Monday lowered the bond of a teenage murder defendant, but his attorney claims he stabbed a man in self-defense.
Judge Lisa Burkhalter granted the bond reduction for Jaaron Alexander Nealy, 19, who was charged with murder in the May 8 fatal stabbing of Jason Thomas Whetstein, 30.
Court documents reveal Nealy had been in a mental hospital in 2011 and exhibited signs of schizophrenia, manic depression and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, also known as ADHD.
Nealy’s attorney, Jyll Rekoff, said her client has never been diagnosed with a mental disorder but had borderline ADHD. Nealy also had no history of violence, she said.
Burkhalter granted Rekoff’s motion Monday morning in Galveston’s 212th District Court, lowering Nealy’s bond from $100,000 to $40,000. Nealy was not listed as a county jail inmate Monday afternoon.
Whetstein aggressively approached Nealy at an apartment complex in the 3500 block of Baker Drive in Dickinson, Rekoff said. Nealy never intended to hurt anyone, but Whetstein began assaulting him, she said.
“Mr. Nealy was afraid for his life when he stabbed Mr. Whetstein,” Rekoff said.
“He felt he was trying to rob him and felt it necessary to defend himself.”
Whetstein suffered a knife wound to his chest and collapsed at the apartment’s courtyard. He was pronounced dead about an hour later at Mainland Medical Center in Texas City.
Nealy’s bond conditions require him to remain at home unless he is at work, church or accompanied by one of his parents or an adult relative. He must also submit to random urine tests, court documents state.