Morgan Freeman’s granddaughter stabbed to death in New York, boyfriend charged
Morgan Freeman’s granddaughter stabbed to death in New York, boyfriend charged
The rapper boyfriend of Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter has been charged with second-degree murder after she was fatally stabbed on a Manhattan sidewalk in an apparent cocaine-fueled exorcism.
Police said on Monday that Lamar Davenport, 30, is accused of killing E’Dena Hines, 33, who was found with multiple stab wounds to the chest near her New York home in Washington Heights early on Sunday morning.
Davenport was in a relationship with Miss Hines, who was found in front of her apartment building on West 162nd Street and pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital, officers added.
George Hudacko, 65, who saw the 3am attack from his window and called 911, said Davenport was stabbing Hines and screaming: ‘Get out, devils. In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out.’
Davenport, an aspiring actor with a criminal record and a history of drug abuse, was said to be reciting Bible verses before being dragged from his girlfriend’s body – which had 16 stab wounds.
He was taken to the New York’s Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center to undergo psychological testing before he was questioned by police.
Miss Hines was the granddaughter of Morgan Freeman’s first wife Jeanette Adair Bradshaw and a regular on the red carpet with the Academy Award-winning actor. She also appeared in a number of movies herself.
Morgan, 78, who was once forced to deny a romantic relationship with Hines, said on Sunday night: ‘The world will never know her artistry in talent. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.’
He added: ‘I want to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and support my family has received regarding the tragic and senseless passing of my granddaughter E’Dena Hines. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.’
Nicole Alexander, a childhood friend of Miss Hines who attended French Camp Academy in Mississippi with her, paid tribute to her today.
She told DailyMail.com: ‘I knew here in junior high and we went to high school at French Camp Academy. She was such a happy, funny, sweet girl.’
Hines played the part of a receptionist in the movie 5 Flights Up, which was released in May and starred Freeman and Diane Keaton.
Witness Brydon Tarafa, 28, told Dailymail.com that he was in his apartment when he heard a woman scream and then a man maniacally shouting ‘Jesus Christ is born’.
According to Davenport’s Facebook, he used to work for an auto parts shop and studied English Literature at New York University. Police said he has two young children.
He was trying to become a rapper – performing under the nickname Lyric.
One witness to the murder, George Hudacko, described the demented scene that unfolded around 3am.
‘”Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!,” the boyfriend screamed,’ said Hudacko, who saw the attack from his window in Washington Heights and called 911.
Witnesses told The New York Post that Davenport continued to stab at Hines’ lifeless body until he was arrested.
When officers arrived, he was reportedly still making the stabbing motion while the knife was stuck in her chest – and he didn’t have anything in his fist.
A law enforcement source also told the newspaper Davenport may have been high on cocaine at the time.
They added that he had six past arrests for crimes, including marijuana possession and petit larceny.
In the past Morgan Freeman has called for marijuana to be decriminilized – and declared in a recent interview that he has been using the drug on a regular basis for five decades.
Ray Rosario, who claims to be Davenport’s best friend, said he went out for dinner with Davenport, Hines and other friends late on Saturday night – and it was the happiest he had seen Hines for a long time.
He told The Daily Beast: ‘I’m still trying to come to grips with what happened. I’m caught between the hate I have for him, my love for him being my brother, and my heart breaking for her.’
Rosario added the pair seemed to be ‘ecstatic’ just hours before the murder.
Witness Tarafa said he didn’t think much of the screaming at first because there is a church across the street and ‘sometimes there’s people yelling and kids running around’.
He added: ‘I go to my window and I see some people standing in the street watching something. And right then two police cars come in and I notice there’s someone over here right in front of my doorway, and the guy gets off of the girl, and the police go and put him in handcuffs,’ he said.
Tarafa, who lives in the building above where the murder occurred, said he had ‘never seen that kind of violence happen so close to home’ and that it was ‘very scary’, and that he was ‘definitely reconsidering’ his safety in the neighborhood.
He said he wished he could have done something to save the victim.
‘Maybe if I had gone to the window sooner and thought it was more of an emergency situation sooner, then maybe I could have called and the police could have gotten here faster,’ he said.
Hines is sometimes referred as Freeman’s goddaughter in addition to his step-granddaughter. According to her personal website she was an actor and writer living in New York City, where she studied at New York University’s Graduate Acting Program.
The university released a statement on Sunday confirming a scholarship would be dedicated in her name.
A post on Facebook read: ‘Our community lost one of its own today. E’dena Hines (’11) was an unendingly loyal, fiercely talented, truly fierce woman.
‘Those who knew her best knew the depths of her feeling and the intensity for her passion for life and her friends.
‘Those who knew her at all knew her light. As this news has taken Facebook this is the common refrain: she was a light. In her smile. In her laughter. In her convictions. In her soul. She was. She is. She is all around us now.
‘In the coming weeks there will be information about the E’dena Hines Scholarship. For now we grieve with her friends and family.’
Hines also taught under-exposed youth in her native Memphis, Tennessee, where she moved after she failed to land gigs and felt ‘unfulfilled’.
She called New York home again last April after being cast in a small indie film called Landing Up, which began shooting in June. She spoke of her excitement about the career-changing role on her blog.
‘My dream has come true and its just beginning. Life can make you want to give up or walk away; sometimes it gives you the strength to appreciate when you do get your happy ending,’ she wrote in a blog post on July 7.
According to her IMDB, she also played the receptionist in a Morgan Freeman film called Five Flights Up, a yoga student in the TV series A Minority Report, and a maid in the film Moll of Flanders, also starring Morgan Freeman.
In 2012, Freeman was forced to dispel rumors that he planned on marrying the actress and that they were in a romantic relationship for ten years prior.
‘The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers,’ he said in 2012.
‘What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well.’
The father-of-four’s stance was backed up by Hines, who issued a statement of her own after the rumors surfaced.
She said: ‘These stories about me and my grandfather are not only untrue, they are also hurtful to me and my family.’
Morgan was married to Jeanette Adair Bradshaw from 1967 until 1979.
He then married costume designer Myrna Colley-Lee on June 16, 1984. It was during their messy divorce in 2009 that the allegations emerged.
If the rumors had been true the relationship would have shared eerie similarities to the one between Woody Allen and his now wife Soon-Yi Previn.
She was the adopted daughter of the director’s long-time partner Mia Farrow, who he was with from 1980, until she learned they had became lovers in 1992.
It led to a storm of publicity about their relationship, though they later got married in 1997.