Boy, 3, fatally stabbed in city home

Police charge man, 21, in killing during argument with child's father

December 11, 2003|By Laurie Willis | Laurie Willis,SUN STAFF

A 3-year-old West Baltimore boy who loved riding his bicycle and playing video games was stabbed during an altercation at his home early yesterday and died at University of Maryland Medical Center.

Roman Jeremy Edwards of the 2300 block of Winchester St. died from a single stab wound to the neck, said Officer Troy Harris, a police spokesman.

Francis Lee, 21, of the 2700 block of Mosher St. has been charged with first-degree murder in the boy's death, Officer Nicole Monroe said.

According to Monroe, police reports say that Harold Edwards, the boy's father, and a man were arguing in a rear bedroom when the man tried to stab Edwards, striking the boy instead.

Harold Edwards said the man arrived about 2:30 a.m. to see his girlfriend, who is Roman's half-sister, and 3-month-old daughter.

"When I heard the front door open, I came out and asked him what he was doing here this time of the morning," Edwards said, as he sat on the couch where he had cradled his dying son while waiting for paramedics. "He said he was here to visit his daughter. I told him she was asleep and he didn't need to be here this late. He got angry, started cursing and said he wasn't going anywhere."

"I asked him to leave again, and he still said no," Edwards said. He said the man pushed him as he continued refusing to leave, leading him to call police.

"The next thing I knew, he pulled out a knife, and I backed up," Edwards said. He said the man swung at him twice, missing him but putting two gashes in a bedroom door.

"My son had woke up then," Edwards said. "When he woke up, he ran over to me and grabbed one of my legs like he always did. We were standing in the hallway. Then he came at me with the knife again."

Edwards said his son was stabbed in the side of the neck. He said he scooped up the boy, whose neck was bleeding profusely, and sat on the couch with him, pleading, "Hold on."

"He was just coughing, coughing," Edwards said. "I knew what the outcome was going to be."

Edwards, who works at the Toys `R' Us warehouse in Frederick, said his son had spent the past several weeks telling him and his mother what he wanted for Christmas. "He was excited about Christmas," Edwards said. "He has been showing me pictures from different store's fliers, and anything he saw on TV, he'd say, `Daddy, you gonna get me that?'"

Edwards said he had purchased some remote control cars for his son, who loved playing games on his Xbox.

In a corner in the living room, Tonka trucks and other toys were clustered in a pile. The boy's bicycle, compete with training wheels, and a toy airplane also were in the room.

"I miss my son so much," Edwards said. "I took him everywhere with me. He loved going on buses and subways."

As Edwards spoke about his son, people called or stopped by his home to offer condolences. A neighbor who lives across from him in Warwick Apartments cried as she told him of her plans to collect money to help the family with expenses.

Edwards said he had planned to move his family - he also has two daughters, ages 8 and 11 - to Baltimore County in February because he wanted them to grow up in a safer neighborhood. Instead, today he and Roman's mother will make funeral arrangements.

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