E’Dena Hines was the step-granddaughter of actor Morgan Freeman. Hines, 33, was fatally stabbed in her New York City apartment in 2015 by her boyfriend, actor and rapper Lamar Davenport.
Hines was found on August 16, 2015, about 3 a.m. in the middle of the street in Washington Heights, suffering from stab wounds. She was rushed to Harlem Hospital and pronounced dead there. Davenport was arrested at the scene.
Here’s what you need to know about E’Dena Hines:
1. Hines’ Boyfriend, Lamar Davenport, Was Found Guilty of Manslaughter, but Not Guilty of Murder in Her Death
E’Dena Hines was living with her boyfriend, Lamar Davenport, in a $780,000 apartment paid for by Morgan Freeman. On the night she was killed, Davenport was found kneeling over her and making “religious statements,” police told the New York Daily News.
“Get out devils! I cast you out Devils in the name of Jesus Christ! I cast you out!,” Davenport yelled, a witness, George Hudacko, told the Daily News. Another witness said Davenport yelled, “I love you. I always loved you. God would have wanted this.”
During his trial in May 2018, Davenport’s attorneys argued an insanity defense, claiming he was in a psychosis brought on by PCP use. Davenport was taken to a hospital for a mental evaluation after his arrest and woke up screaming, “Why did this happen? No, no! Why, God?” He also asked the arresting officers if they believed in God and urged them to repent their sins. The prosecution argued Hines and Davenport had a strained relationship and he had planned to kill her because of their issues.
Judge Ellen Biben found Davenport guilty of manslaughter, but not guilty of second-degree murder on May 7. He will be sentenced at a later date and faces up to 25 years in prison.
2. She Was the Granddaughter of Freeman’s First Wife & Freeman Helped Raise Her With His Second Wife
Hines was the granddaughter of Morgan Freeman’s first wife, Jeannette Adair Bradshaw. They were married from 1967 to 1979. Hines was also Freeman’s goddaughter. Freeman adopted Hines’ mother, Deena Adair, when he married Adair Bradshaw
“The world will never know her artistry and talent, and how much she had to offer,” Freeman said in a statement after Hines’ death. “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.”
Freeman helped raise Hines along with his second wife, Mynra Colley-Lee. Colley-Lee unofficially adopted Hines as her own granddaughter.
“Throughout E’Dena’s entire lifetime, my daughter Deena Adair and I were the primary sources of support for E’Dena financially, emotionally, mentally and physically,” Freeman wrote in an affidavit to the court.
3. Freeman & Hines Denied They Had an Affair & Her Boyfriend’s Defense Lawyer Brought Up the Allegations of a Sexual Relationship During His Trial
In 2012, Freeman and Hines addressed rumors that they had an affair after it was reported in the National Enquirer that they had engaged in a romantic relationship. Other gossip sites picked up on the story and reported Freeman and Hines were in a serious relationship and he was considering marrying her.
A source told the Enquirer, “Myrna said E’Dena told her that when she was a teenager, she and Morgan went to dinner at a friend’s house one evening. Both had been drinking, and when they returned home, Morgan attempted to have sex with her. They stopped just short of having intercourse.” Another source said, “Morgan has led her to believe that he wants to marry her.” And a third told the tabloid, “Becoming Mrs. Morgan Freeman has been E’Dena’s goal.”
But they denied the rumors.
“The recent reports of any pending marriage or romantic relationship of me to anyone are defamatory fabrications from the tabloid media designed to sell papers,” Freeman said in a statement at the time, according to TMZ. “What is even more alarming is that these fabrications are now being picked up by the legitimate press as well.”
Hines, who was 27 at the time, released a statement saying, “These stories about me and my grandfather are not only untrue, they are also hurtful to me and my family.”
The rumors re-emerged during Lamar Davenport’s trial, when his attorney brought up an allege sexual relationship between Hines and Freeman. Davenport’s attorney said Hines had once texted her boyfriend that she had “grandpa feelings.”
The lawyer, Beth Unger, said in court, “E’Dena Hines disclosed to Lamar Davenport and others that her grandfather engaged in a sexually inappropriate relationship with her,” according to the New York Post. The
In July 2015, Hines sent text messages to Davenport alluding to issues with an older man and referencing Freeman, according to the New York Daily News. “I dont ask him for advice,” Hines wrote. “He was calling to ask me . . . I blocked him for myself not for you because men who equal grandpa feelings dont need to be in my life at all.”
Davenport replied, “when it comes to . . . your grandfather, there’s a submissive love that will always be there.”
4. She Graduated From the Tisch School of Arts in 2011 & Studied English at Drew University
E’Dena Hines graduated from Drew University in 2006 with an English degree. In 2011, she completed her master’s degree in fine arts at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. NYU announced after her death that a scholarship in her name would be given out in her honor.
Hines was born in Memphis, Tennessee on March 4, 1982. E’Dena often accompanied Freeman to red carpet events and he was a major part of her life.
According to the Daily Mail, Freeman intervened to try to stop Hines’ “deadbeat dad” from inheriting the apartment he had bought for her. Hines’ estate was automatically set to go to her parents because she was not married and did not have any children.
“In fact, from the time that E’Dena was approximately three and a half years old and until the Thanksgiving before her death, E’Dena met with Edward Lee Hines only one or two times,’ Freeman said in a statement to the court. “At no point during that time period were any efforts made by Edward Lee Hines to resume a relationship with E’Dena.”
5. Hines Was Living Her Dream as an Actress in New York City & Appeared in Films With Freeman
E’Dena Hines was working as an actress at the time of her death. She had previously worked as a production assistant on Morgan Freeman’s 2009 film “Thick as Thieves,” and appeared as a maid in 1996’s “Moll Flanders,” along with small roles on the “Minority Report” TV series and as a receptionist in another Freeman film, “5 Flights Up.”
In a blog post written shortly before her death, Hines said she had finally started to live her dream as an actress. She had recently finished filming a role in the indie film “Landing Up,” which was released in 2018 after her death.
“My dream has come true and its just beginning,” Hines wrote in July. “Life can make you want to give up or walk away; sometimes it gives you the strength to appreciate when you do get your happy ending”
Hines was cast as Cece in the upcoming film Landing Up, alongside Ben Rappaport, Stacey Maltin and Dov Tiefenbach. The movie was written by Maltin and directed by Daniel Tenenbaum.
Hines wrote on her blog that she nearly gave up acting, moving back to Memphis, Tennessee, because she felt unfulfilled. Then, in April, she auditioned for the role in Landing Up, and she got the part.
“Suddenly, the nerves turned into joy, excitement; I settled down and stopped trying to be what I thought they wanted me to be in the room,” Hines wrote. “I took a deep breath and just let myself be whatever I was. When it was over I left feeling a dance in my heart. I got a call back a few days later and yet again found this uncontrollable emotion take over me as I left.
She then moved back to New York City to continue pursuing her dream.
“Now there is an ease with which I approach my work, a sense of comfort instead of fear. Every day that I get to shoot I wake up and put the character of Cece on me the same way I do my shoes. She sits inside my heart until I take off my costume and come home… sometimes she even spends the night cause she’s lonely,” she wrote. “I feel a huge responsibility to her and I also feel well prepared for the challenge.”