The man who killed Morgan Freeman’s step-granddaughter was convicted of first-degree manslaughter Monday, but acquitted of second-degree murder.
Lamar Davenport had been tried before a judge in New York State Supreme Court for the August 2015 killing of E’Dena Hines. The judge announced the verdict in a terse statement, and Davenport now faces up to 25 years in prison. He showed no reaction to the verdict and was quietly led out of the courtroom.
There was no dispute that Davenport stabbed his girlfriend to death while they were high on PCP. But the case centered on whether he meant to murder her.
Davenport's defense argued that the couple regularly used PCP, and that Davenport was so high on the hallucinogen that he couldn't form the criminal intent necessary for a murder conviction.
“His mind had detached from reality,” Annie Costanzo, one of Davenport’s attorneys said during closing arguments in the case last Wednesday. She said Davenport stabbed Hines 25 times because he thought it would release a demon trapped inside her.
Evidence in the trial, including a video the couple made while high on the drug, established that PCP use was a regular part of the couples’ life.
Prosecutor Christopher Prevost had argued that “drug abuse is no excuse for murder,” and that Davenport should be held “accountable for his acts.”
Hines was the step-granddaughter of Freeman, the Oscar-winning actor. Hines’ mother, Deena Addair, was in the courtroom when the verdict was announced. When asked afterward for a comment by Oxygen.com, she shook her head and said nothing.
Relatives of Davenport were also in the courtroom for the verdict. They, too, declined to comment.
Hines’ grandmother was once married to Freeman, who won a best supporting actor Oscar in 2005 for his role in “Million Dollar Baby.” Hines had a role in one of his movies, “5 Flights Up,” which was released in 2015.
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” Freeman said in a statement after Hines' death.
Davenport's sentencing is set for May 29.
[Photos: JB Nicholas]
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