updated 6/15/2006 10:53:04 PM ET 2006-06-16T02:53:04

A man accused of wounding four people during a stabbing rampage confessed to the attacks and gave his reasons for them, a prosecutor said Thursday.

Kenny Alexis, 20, was arraigned in Manhattan Criminal Court on attempted murder, assault, robbery and attempted robbery. He entered no plea during the proceeding.

Alexis lives in Boston with his family, who reported that he comes to New York frequently, said Assistant District Attorney Christopher Ryan. Police Commissioner Ray Kelly had previously said Alexis was homeless.

Ryan said Alexis has a record as a petty criminal in Boston, and disputed reports that Alexis is mentally ill. The family knows nothing of any mental illness, he said.

But Alexis’ attorney, Candace Kurtz, asked the judge to order a psychiatric examination: “It is my opinion that he cannot assist in his own defense.”

Judge Patricia Nunez ordered Alexis held without bail and directed that he have a psychiatric evaluation. Nunez scheduled his next court appearance July 13.

Ryan said the knife Alexis used was recovered. Police also found his fingerprints on the subway seat where Alexis sat across from his first victim, the prosecutor said, and numerous victims and witnesses identified him in lineups.

“The defendant confessed to each of the incidents and gave reasons for doing what he did,” Ryan told the judge.

Alexis is accused of stabbing Christopher McCarthy, 21, of Houston, in the chest on a train Tuesday. Alexis stabbed him “because he was in his way,” Ryan told the court.

He also is accused of stabbing Ambrosio Castro, 30, of Brooklyn on a subway platform in Rockefeller Center. Ryan said Alexis demanded Castro’s cell phone. Castro, not understanding what Alexis was saying, failed to hand it over and Alexis stabbed him.

Alexis later tried to shoplift from a deli in the theater district, Ryan said. He said two employees confronted him but when the defendant threatened them with a knife they let him leave.

Early Wednesday, two Canadian women, Melanie Carrier, 22, and Audrey Perrier, 25, were crossing a street when Alexis allegedly stabbed each in the back before fleeing. Ryan said Alexis tried to chat with the women and when they politely declined to speak with him, “he stabbed them and called them derogatory names.”

Two bystanders trailed him to a McDonald’s where police eventually arrested him, Ryan said. Alexis faces as many as 60 years in prison if convicted of all charges.

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