Pal: Morgan Freeman’s Grandkid, Boyfriend Were ‘Ecstatic’ Before Murder
The boyfriend of Morgan Freeman’s granddaughter is being charged with her murder, according to the NYPD, after they say Lamar Davenport with stabbed E’Dena Hines to death in Manhattan early Sunday.
Hines, 33, was found lying in the street outside her West 162nd Street apartment in Washington Heights, cops say. The budding actress had been stabbed multiple times in the torso. She was transported to Harlem Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Davenport, 30, was arrested and transported to Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center for a psychiatric evaluation, authorities said. He was charged with second-degree murder on Monday.
Cops appeared to give slightly different accounts of the crime scene to local NYC tabloids—in one telling, they found Hines’s boyfriend standing over her and screaming. In another, the alleged killer was kneeling over Hines’s body and spouting religious statements.
George Hudacko, who allegedly saw the attack and called 911, told the Daily News the suspect was repeating: “Get out devils! I cast you out devils in the name of Jesus Christ! I cast you out!”
On Sunday, Hines’s pal Ray Rosario identified his best friend, Lamar Davenport, as the alleged killer. Rosario told The Daily Beast he went out for dinner with Hines, Davenport, and other friends on the night she was killed.
“I’m still trying to come to grips with what happened,” Rosario told The Daily Beast. “I’m caught between the hate I have for him, my love for him being my brother, and my heart breaking for her.”
Rosario said Davenport and Hines seemed “ecstatic” in the hours before her death. “I’ve never seen E’Dena as happy as she was last night,” he said.
He added that another acquaintance had allegedly witnessed Hines’s murder.
“I heard [it] went to the point she was screaming Lamar's name and getting stabbed in front of her house,” Rosario said. “He was there. Right in front of his eyes.”
Calls to Davenport’s relatives were not returned.
Freeman released a statement mourning Hines, who is the granddaughter of his first wife, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw.
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” Freeman said. “Her friends and family were fortunate enough to have known what she meant as a person. Her star will continue to shine bright in our hearts, thoughts and prayers. May she rest in peace.”
Hines apparently moved to New York this summer to star in the independent dramatic comedy Landing Up.
The investigation into her death is ongoing, an NYPD spokeswoman said.
On her blog, Hines wrote that she left the Big Apple two years ago for Memphis, Tennessee, because she was “unfulfilled.”
“The only logical thing to do when you feel like you’re going nowhere is to move to essentially—no where. After two years, I felt I had conquered the weasel and was ready to go after what I truly wanted,” she wrote on July 7.
But the city called Hines back in April, when she auditioned for Landing Up after a classmate recommended her. (According to her website, Hines studied at New York University’s graduate acting program.)
“My dream has come true and its just beginning,” Hines wrote. “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.”
Former NYU classmates were devastated by Hines’s death.
One colleague, Victoria Mack, told The Daily Beast that the actress “was one of the most energetic and warmest people I’d ever met.”
“She was a true talent,” said Mack, who was a year ahead of Hines. “She really was, and I’m so upset people won’t know that now… She would have had a great career.” Hines was elated to return to New York to jump start her acting career, Mack said.
“She’s gotten attention for her family, and she’s just so much more than that,” the classmate said.
Hines and Morgan are not related by blood. The 78-year-old actor adopted E’Dena’s mother, Deena, who is Bradshaw’s biological daughter, according to reports.
In 2012, Morgan shot down rumors that he was romantically involved with Hines, who often accompanied him to premieres and award shows.
Another friend, playwright and novelist Carl Hancock Rux, said he planned to get dinner with Hines on Friday but had to reschedule for the next week.
“That was the last time we spoke,” Rux told The Daily Beast, adding, “I know this is irrational … but I feel like I’m one of those people who insisted that she move back to New York City to pursue her career as an actor.”
Rux said he loved Hines and thought her relationship with her boyfriend was on-again, off-again.
“She was too talented to waste her gifts,” an inconsolable Rux added. “I insisted she needed to be in New York.”
This story has been updated throughout.