A Fayette County man was denied bond shortly after authorities added a feticide charge to his two counts of murder, authorities said.
Johnny Thomas Edwards IV, 34, of Fayetteville, is accused of killing his pregnant wife, 31-year-old Venus Quanteh, and his mother, 57-year-old Kathy Edwards, on Dec. 7, AJC.com previously reported. He called 911 shortly after the double homicide to confess, according to the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office.
The grisly scene happened at his mother’s home on Coventry Court. Johnny Edwards is a former football standout at Starr’s Mill High School who went on to play defense back at Wake Forest.
On Dec. 19, he made his first appearance in court, the Fayette Citizen reported. District Attorney Ben Coker testified that Johnny Edwards used a baseball bat and a knife to kill the women.
“… each suffered injures by knife wound and blunt force trauma,” Coker said, according to the Citizen. “We are awaiting the results of the autopsy at this point. However, the evidence would show also that the victim, Venus Quanteh, was approximately five months pregnant at the time. We anticipate additional warrants to follow.”
Edwards represented himself in court, the newspaper reported. During several bizarre exchanges, he claimed that the United States had no jurisdiction over him and that his name was actually Sidi Muhammad ibn Abdallah.
In addition, he made several references to habeas corpus and an 18th century Moroccan treaty with the U.S., which was signed under Moroccan Sultan Muhammah III, also known as Sidi Muhammad ibn Abdallah. It’s unclear how those concepts apply to his case, and Judge Christopher Edwards had strong words during the lengthy back-and-forths.
“What you just recited is no more meaningful to a court of law than reciting a children’s nursery rhyme in response to a murder charge. It is meaningless,” he said, according to the Citizen.
At one point during the hearing, someone from the audience yelled, “Johnny, cooperate. Your brother loves you. We love you. Johnny, cooperate. The Edwards family loves you. Cooperate, son,” the Citizen reported. That person was then escorted out of the courtroom.
The judge denied the suspect’s bond, while advising that he undergo a competency evaluation to determine if he is legally competent to stand trial in addition to a sanity evaluation, the newspaper reported. Despite being asked multiple times, the suspect refused court-assigned representation.
“Well, my assessment of you is that you are legally competent that you understand the nature of the charges against you,” the judge said, according to the Citizen. “You have — you express some complex understanding of some laws. Although I’m very clearly suggesting to you again that you’re completely misapprehending those laws and you’re seeking to misapply them here to the extent that they are laws … But you’re certainly alert and oriented to time, place, person and circumstance.”
The case is expected to go before a grand jury in February.
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