Lamar Davenport, the 30-year-old man accused of fatally stabbing the step-granddaughter of Morgan Freeman has been charged with murder and taken to hospital for a psychological examination, the New York police department said on Monday.
A spokesman for the NYPD said police found 33-year-old Edena Hines lying on the street outside her Manhattan apartment with multiple stab wounds in her torso after they were called to the home just before 3am. Hines was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital.
The accused was described by police as Hines’s boyfriend and was arrested at the scene and charged with second-degree murder, according to police.
He was subsequently taken to the hospital, where he is undergoing a psychological evaluation. Davenport lived with Hines in a nearby apartment.
A neighbour told DNAinfo that he witnessed Davenport behaving erratically and “screaming manically” over Hines’s body in the street.
“He was yelling, ‘Jesus Christ is born!’ at the top of his lungs,” Bryndon Tarafa, 28, told the website. “He said it three or four times. He was yelling for five minutes and getting louder as he went on.” NYPD officials confirmed this account to DNAinfo.
“She was on her back, laying flat,” Tarafa said. “She wasn’t moving. I was pretty sure she was dead. The police came and put something over her.”
Patrick Curry, another witness, told Reuters: “He was kneeling over her and screaming about ‘God has arisen.’ He was totally off the ranch.”
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer. Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person,” Freeman said in the statement released on Sunday.
“Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.”
Though Hines was Freeman’s granddaughter through a previous marriage, the relatives are reported to have been close, and the actor’s publisher told Reuters he never referred to her as a “step” relative.
The actor added on his Facebook page: “I want to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and support my family has received regarding the tragic and senseless passing of my granddaughter Edena Hines. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.”