A man hired to babysit shared a weed cookie with the child’s mom, then plunged a knife into her, later telling cops he’d had a bad reaction to the edible, according to Pennsylvania authorities.
Pennsylvania State Police said that Lavrius Watson, 26, now faces a criminal homicide charge in connection with the death of Elizabeth Bennett Leonard, whose 10-year-old son was in the Luzerne County house when she was killed.
Police said that Leonard, 41, was found dead at her home just after midnight on Saturday with “severe injuries to her abdomen,” after Watson made a panicked 911 call, according to an arrest report.
Luzerne County Coroner Francis Hacken confirmed to The Daily Beast on Tuesday that Leonard’s death was a homicide and she died of “multiple stab wounds.”
Responding officers from Rice, Wright, and Fairview townships said at roughly 12:30 a.m. on Saturday, they discovered Leonard bloodied and pushed against the front door with deep gashes in her stomach. A trail of blood led from the kitchen to the front door, and upon their arrival, police detailed in their report that they also found Watson covered in blood and murmuring the words, “Why did I do that?”
Watson was arraigned just before 11 a.m. the next morning and remanded to the Luzerne County Prison.
According to a copy of his arrest report, Watson told police he had known Leonard for seven years and was at Leonard’s home on Friday night to babysit. After dinner, the pair split a marijuana cookie.
Watson later told police that he believed he had reacted badly to the marijuana-laced confection and recalled abruptly getting up to pull a knife from a drawer, according to the police report. He told police that he then stabbed Leonard repeatedly. The alleged weed-fueled stabbing was first reported by the Pocono Record.
Police said that Watson was “audibly crying” when he called 911 and requested an ambulance for Leonard.
Watson also told a dispatcher who answered the panicked 911 call that “somebody got killed,” and when asked who killed the person, Watson responded that he had done it with a knife, according to police documents. He told the dispatcher he didn’t see the knife and couldn’t recall where the knife was located.
When responding officers arrived, Watson eventually made his way through the backdoor of the house where he dropped to his knees in a bloody mess, according to police documents.
Pennsylvania State Police and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office are overseeing an ongoing investigation into Leonard’s death.