The man on trial for killing Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter was high on PCP and stabbed her because he thought it would release a demon trapped inside her, his lawyer said Wednesday.
“God, Jesus, Satan and a demon were somehow at play,” Lamar Davenport's lawyer, Annie Costanzo, said in New York State Supreme Court. She said Davenport believed "a demon was inhabiting the body" of E’Dena Hines, his girlfriend.
Davenport is accused of stabbing Hines 25 times in August 2015. They were both high at the time on PCP, a powerful hallucinogen known for distorting users’ perceptions of reality.
“In his psychotic delusions, Lamar Davenport was trying to release demons” when he stabbed Hines, Costanzo said in court. But she argued Davenport did not intend to kill his girlfriend.
The trial has revealed that using PCP was a regular part of the couple’s life, and the evidenceincluded a video the couple made while high on the drug. On the night of the killing, they “did what they always did -- got high together,” Costanzo said.
“Getting high on PCP was so normalized that they documented it on video,” she added.
“Getting high was a memory worth preserving.”
But prosecutor Christopher Prevost told the court that drug abuse "is no excuse for murder,” stressing that Davenport only stopped stabbing Hines when she stopped moving, leaving his 4½-inch hunting knife stuck in her heart.
Prevost said the couple was arguing that night and the killing was "unquestionably intentional."
“I ask the court to hold defendant accountable for his acts,” he said.
The case is being tried without a jury in front of Judge Ellen Biben. She said a verdict could arrive on Friday.
Hines’s grandmother was once married to Freeman, the Oscar-winning actor. Hines had a role in one of Freeman's movies, “5 Flights Up,” which was released in 2015.
For nearly a decade, rumors swirled that Hines and Freeman had had some kind of sexual relationship, but both she and Freeman repeatedly denied the rumors.
But during Davenport’s trial, lawyers said Hines told Davenport and others that Morgan, her step-grandfather, had a sexual relationship with her, according to the New York Daily News. Freeman again denied the allegation.
A witness of the killing said that Davenport had mentioned the devil.
Cristina Aviles, 22, said she was walking with a group of friends when they came upon Davenport, who had Hines pinned down in front of the Washington Heights brownstone where they lived.
“He was yelling things about releasing the devil out of her. And then he pulled out a knife,” Aviles testified in April, according to the New York Post.
“There was multiple stabs — the back, and then on the front of her chest and her neck,” Aviles said.
But “then he stopped after she was still.”
[Photo: JB NICHOLAS]
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