Early Sunday morning, Morgan Freeman‘s step granddaughter was stabbed to death on a sidewalk in New York City. Law enforcement sources and a witness both described the horrific tragedy as a pre-dawn, demented “exorcism”.
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“’Get out, devils! I cast you out, devils! In the name of Jesus Christ, I cast you out!’ ” the suspect screamed as he plunged a hunting knife repeatedly into her body, according to George Hudacko, 65, who witnessed the attack from his window in Washington Heights and called 911.
Victim E’Dena Hines, 33 — an actress who’d appeared on Broadway and at Freeman’s side on multiple red carpets — was stabbed 16 times.
“The girl was making a lot of noise, screaming,” Hudacko said of the attack. “I saw something sparkly going up and down. … I called 911, I was begging them to come.”
Hines — whose grandmother, Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, was Freeman’s first wife – was stabbed in front of West 162 Street near St. Nicholas Avenue just before 3 a.m., cops said.
The victim’s live-in boyfriend, identified as Lamar Davenport, 30, was apprehended at the scene and brought by cops to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital.
Davenport may have been in the throes of a cocaine-fueled psychosis, and was so crazed that he continued his assault even after her body went lifeless, a law enforcement source told The Post.
Cops had to wrestle him off of her.
“When the police arrived he was still making a stabbing motion with his arm but he had nothing in his fist. The knife was jutting out of her chest,” the source said.
Freeman issued a sorrowful public statement through a spokesman within hours of the attack, saying: “The world will never know her artistry in talent, and how much she had to offer.
“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.”
Although Hines and Freeman, 78, were not related by blood, the actor adopted her mother and was so close to Hines that he called her his granddaughter. She sometimes joined him on the red carpet to movie premieres and award shows as his plus one.
In 2012, Freeman had to publicly squash false reports that they were romantically involved.
Hines, was pronounced dead at Harlem Hospital.
She played Beneatha in “A Raisin in the Sun” on Broadway and was a founding member of the youth empowerment and writers’ organization SonEdna, according to its Web site.
She had recently moved into an apartment with her alleged killer on West 162 Street, a few buildings from where she was slain, neighbors said.
Their next-door neighbor Ben, 50, who declined to give his last name, said Hines was friendly and kept very busy.
“We knew she was an actress… she was always on the move, always moving, going to auditions,” he said
Two weeks ago, Hines finished filming “Landing Up,” a feature film about two young homeless women surviving on the streets of New York, its director Daniel Tenenbaum told The Post.
“We’re devastated. She was an amazing incredible, loving human being,” Tenenbaum said.
She was one of the souls of the movie, the director grieved.
“She really touched every single person on set, crew and cast, and was such a vivid part of this whole experience. She was here, she was in our office a couple days ago and we sat and talked and filmed her.”
The suspect remained at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation Sunday night, officials said.
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