The boyfriend of Morgan Freeman’s slain step-granddaughter was convicted of manslaughter on Monday but acquitted of murder, according to multiple reports.
A judge found Lamar Davenport guilty of stabbing 33-year-old E’Dena Hines multiple times outside the couple’s apartment building in New York City.
Davenport, 33, was charged with second-degree murder after authorities said he stabbed Hines more than a dozen times. She was found lying in the street outside her home at 3 a.m. and was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Judge Ellen Biben could have convicted Davenport of murder charges, but instead found him guilty of manslaughter. She did not explain her verdict, according to the New York Daily News.
Davenport sat motionless while the verdict was read, the paper reports.
The prosecution argued that Davenport was enraged that Hines was going to break up with him. Text messages shared during the trial showed Davenport and Hines talked about taking a break before Hines’ death. Prosecutors said their relationship was rocky before the stabbing.
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But Davenport’s lawyers argued argued that he was high on PCP on August 16, 2015. According to defense witness Xavier Gardere, Davenport straddled Hines as he stabbed, her, screaming “I love you. I always loved you. God would have wanted this.”
Defense lawyer Beth Unger also controversially alleged that Hines had once had an intimate relationship with Morgan Freeman. During testimony, Unger said that Hines “disclosed to … Davenport and others that her grandfather engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with her.” It was an accusation both Freeman and Hines had vehemently denied.
Hines’ grandmother is Freeman’s first wife, and Hines’ mother was Freeman’s stepdaughter until he adopted her. Hines attended a graduate acting program at New York University from 2008 to 2011 and starred in the film Landing Up, which premiered in 2017.
In a statement to PEOPLE immediately after Hines was killed, Freeman reflected on her talent and how she touched the lives of those who knew her.
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” he 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 …
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