Murderpedia

 

 

Juan Ignacio Blanco  

 

home

last updates

MALE murderers

by country

by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
   

FEMALE murderers

by country

by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 

Jonathon EDINGTON

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: He thought the victim had molested his 2-year-old daughter
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: August 28, 2006
Date of birth: October 29, 1976
Victim profile: Barry James, 59 (his neighbor)
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
Location: Fairfield, Connecticut, USA
Status: Sentenced to 12 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter on August 17, 2007
 
 

 
 

photo gallery

 
 

 
 

Jonathon Edington (b. 1977) is a Fairfield, Connecticut, United States, patent lawyer who achieved national notoriety when on August 28, 2006, he allegedly murdered his neighbor, Barry James, after being told that James had molested Edington's two-year-old daughter.

On August 30 Edington was released on $1 million bond. It is widely expected that Edington will attempt to mount a psychiatric defense at his murder trial. The story had generated a large amount of press coverage in the United States and overseas.

Life

Edington studied engineering at Syracuse University and received his J.D. from Fordham Law School in New York City in 2004. He practiced patent law at a small firm in Fairfield.

The trial

Court documents released on September 12, 2006 state that a 2-year-old girl had complained to her mother, Christina Edington, that her neighbor, Barry James, had repeatedly molested her.

Christina Edington was in Rhode Island with her daughter visiting relatives when the murder took place. The girl had just told Mrs. Edington when she immediately called to inform her husband, Jonathon Edington.

According to the affidavit, within minutes Edington went next door to 101 Colony Street in Fairfield, where he found Barry James, 59, and stabbed him thirteen times in the heart, chest and hand. He died about an hour later at Bridgeport Hospital.

James's estate hired attorney Peter Ambrose, who issued a statement on behalf of the James family that disputed the allegations: "The family of Barry James stand together in defending the unfounded allegations of molestation. They are vicious and hurtful, and the family only wishes that their son and brother had the opportunity to defend himself. When all of the facts are made known, we are confident that Barry will be cleared of these allegations."

On October 10, 2006, Edington pled "not guilty" to all charges. On October 19, 2006, the Fairfield police concluded that James did not molest Edington's daughter.

In June of 2007, Edington pled guilty to a reduced charge of first degree manslaughter and is currently awaiting his sentencing scheduled for August 17th, 2007. Prosecutor Jonathon Benedict has said that he will recommend that Edington serve 20 years in prison. The judge suspended eight years of that, leaving 12 years to serve, plus five years probation.

Civil suit

The estate of Barry James filed an order in the Bridgeport Superior Court for a $5 million dollar lien against Edington's property. The lien would be used to secure any verdict reached against Edington.

James' 87-year-old mother lived with him and would be a beneficiary of the estate. She is legally blind and discovered the body. After she showed police the body, they found Edington at home in his kitchen with blood on his hands and forearms, authorities said.


Jonathon Edington (born October 29, 1976) is a Fairfield, Connecticut, United States, patent lawyer who achieved national notoriety when, on August 28, 2006, he murdered his neighbor, Barry James, after being told that James had molested Edington's two-year-old daughter. There has been no evidence found that Barry James molested Edington's daughter or anyone else.

On August 30 Edington was released on $1 million bond. It was widely expected that Edington would attempt to mount a psychiatric defense at his murder trial, however Edington instead pled guilty to the crime and was sentenced to 12 years in prison on August 31, 2007.

The story had generated a large amount of press coverage in the United States and overseas.

Background

Edington studied engineering at Syracuse University, and received his J.D. from Fordham Law School in New York City in 2004. He practiced patent law at a small firm in Fairfield.

Criminal case

Court documents released on September 12, 2006 state that a 2-year-old girl had complained to her mother, Christina Edington, that her neighbor, Barry James, had repeatedly molested her. Christina Edington was in Rhode Island with her daughter visiting relatives when the murder took place. The girl had just told Mrs. Edington when she immediately called to inform her husband, Jonathon Edington. According to the affidavit, within minutes Edington went next door to 101 Colony Street in Fairfield, where he found Barry James, 59, and stabbed him thirteen times in the heart, chest and hand. He died about an hour later at Bridgeport Hospital.

James' estate hired attorney Peter Ambrose, who issued a statement on behalf of the James family that disputed the allegations: "The family of Barry James stand together in defending the unfounded allegations of molestation. They are vicious and hurtful, and the family only wishes that their son and brother had the opportunity to defend himself. When all of the facts are made known, we are confident that Barry will be cleared of these allegations."

On October 10, 2006, Edington pled "not guilty" to all charges. On October 19, 2006, the Fairfield police concluded that James did not molest Edington's daughter. Further, after investigating the molestation allegation and saying they found no evidence to back it up, they also revealed that Edington's wife, Christina, refused to cooperate with the investigation into the slaying, and prosecutor Jonathan Benedict has said a defense psychiatrist determined Edington's wife suffered from postpartum depression.

In June 2007, Edington pled guilty to a reduced charge of first degree manslaughter. He was sentenced Friday, August 31, 2007, to 12 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter. Prosecutor Jonathon Benedict had recommended that Edington serve 20 years in prison. The judge suspended eight years of that, leaving 12 years to serve, plus five years probation.

Civil case

The estate of Barry James filed an order in the Bridgeport Superior Court for a $5 million dollar lien against Edington's property. The lien would be used to secure any verdict reached against Edington. James' 87-year-old mother lived with him and would be a beneficiary of the estate. She is legally blind and discovered the body. After she showed police the body, they found Edington at home in his kitchen with blood on his hands and forearms, authorities said.

An attorney for the Jameses served Christina Edington with a wrongful death lawsuit, accusing her of triggering the stabbing and making up the abuse claim. A similar lawsuit is pending against Edington.

Wikipedia.org


Connecticut Lawyer Is Given 12 Years in Neighbor’s Killing

The New York Times

September 1, 2007

BRIDGEPORT, Conn., Aug. 31 (AP) — A lawyer who stabbed his neighbor in Fairfield, Conn., to death because he thought the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter was sentenced on Friday to 12 years in prison for first-degree manslaughter.

“It’s a Shakespearean tragedy brought into the real world,”

Judge Richard F. Comerford Jr. said at the sentencing. “Something was set into motion in this man’s mind — real or perceived. It was very real to him.”

The lawyer, Jonathon Edington, 30, attacked Barry James, a neighbor, in Mr. James’s home last year after his wife told him that she thought Mr. James had molested their daughter. Officers said they found Mr. Edington washing the victim’s blood off in a kitchen sink.

Fairfield police officers said they found no evidence to back up the molestation allegation. They said that Mr. Edington’s wife, Christina, did not cooperate with investigators.

”We will never be the same,” Mr. James’s parents, Rita and Charlie James, wrote in a victims’ statement filed with the court. “A terrible tragedy has happened for nothing, but it has destroyed all that we have.”

Mr. Edington’s lawyer, Andrew Bowman, said his client was not in his right mind when he attacked Mr. James.

Mr. Edington, who had been free on bond, entered court holding hands with his wife. After the sentence was read, Mr. Edington was handcuffed and led away as his wife fell to her knees. The judge issued a 20-year sentence, but suspended eight years of that, leaving Mr. Edington to serve 12, plus 5 years’ probation.

Also on Friday, a lawyer for Mr. James’s parents served Christina Edington with a wrongful death lawsuit, accusing her of prompting the stabbing and making up the abuse claim. A similar lawsuit is pending against Mr. Edington.

Ms. Edington did not comment as she left the courthouse.


Edington sentenced

1st September 2007

Jonathan Edington, who pled guilty to fatally stabbing his neighbor was sentenced this week.

He was given a 12 year prison sentence, along with 5 years of probation. Prosecutors had recommended a sentence of 20 years.

So often we read or hear stories of fathers who beat, molest, starve, and abuse their children to the point of death. Jonathan Edington was a father who felt he would do anything to protect his daughter, even kill. Almost daily you hear parents state that they would kill to protect their children.

Jonathan Edington lived out those words. He went to his neighbor Barry James and stabbed him after he heard that the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter.

On the surface I am sure that many folks can relate to him and to the anger that he felt over learning his daughter had been abused. But a police investigation carried out after the murder found no evidence to support the molestation claims.

After having covered these kinds of stories for 2 years now, I know that the justice system in this country can be unwieldy, cumbersome, and downright wrong sometimes. But we must let police, prosecutors, judges, and juries do their jobs. We live under the rule of law and that must prevail in these cases, where it is not known for sure that something happened.

As I said, most parents would tell you they would kill to protect their children. In Edington’s case, it was anger, not protection that led him to kill.

UPDATE: 09/01/07

It would appear that the legal troubles for the Edington family are just beginning.

During the sentencing, Judge Richard Comerford Jr. not only sentenced Jonathan to 12 years in prison and 5 years of probation.  But he also made some remarks that seemed directed at his wife, Christina Edington.

“There is a certain responsibility that lies not only with this man, but with others in this courtroom, someone else will have to live with this on their conscience,” he said. “As far as the blame for the situation it lies at his feet, but there is one other individual who it may be considered to have some degree of culpability. I wouldn’t want to have this on my conscience.”

Edington remains convinced that his 2-year-old daughter was molested by Barry James.  In a letter to the judge he stated that he trusts his wife completely and believes what she told him that night on the phone.  It was that call, where Christina told him that their daughter was afraid to go home because James came to her in “the starry nights” and molested, which led him to stab his neighbor to death.

As Christina Edington was leaving court on Friday, after hearing her husband would be spending over a decade in prison, she was presented with a wrongful death civil lawsuit by state Marshal Patti Randall.  It was pushed to her through closing elevator doors, as she tried to evade the Marshall.

There is another civil lawsuit pending agaist Jonathan Edington as well.

While it is very likely that the Edingtons’ will lose both these civil lawsuits as well, it may be hard to recover any monies from them.  Jonathan Edington most likely had not been working for the past year, despite being out on bond.  It was also released that Christina Edington, a stay-at-home mother before the incident, has not worked because she believes she suffers from multiple sclerosis.

I am sure however, that the James’ family is more interested in trying to clear their son’s name than receiving a financial windfall.  During the sentencing hearing they spoke about how this case and the complaints made by the Edingtons’ against their son have affected them.

“As if the brutality of your act were not enough, it got worse,” said James’ sister, Charlene Benoit. “At our instructions, our family and friends turned to the local newspapers to read Barry’s obituary. We crafted it to celebrate his life and accomplishments as well as provide details of his wake and funeral. “But this, too, was destroyed as we were met with the horror of banner headlines of your unfounded claims. As if taking his flesh were not enough, you went after his good name with your twisted accusations.”

No one will ever be sure what the conversation between mother and daughter was that night.  Just as no one will most likely ever know exactly what was said between Christina and Jonathan that led him to grab a knife, break into his neighbor’s bedroom, and stab him to death.


Edington 911 Tapes Released

20th June 2007

The audio recordings of two calls made to the 9-1-1 dispatchers were made public earlier this week.

In the recordings you hear two very distinct people, handling the same situation in totally different manners.

When Jonathan Edington makes the call to 9-1-1, he is calm and matter-of-fact.  He merely reports that an ambulance and police are needed at 101 Colony Street, the James’ home, telling them, “a man has been stabbed.”

The operator tries to gather more information from Edington, but only gets repeated requests that he dispatch an ambulance to the address.  When the dispatcher refuses to stop asking him “who stabbed him,” Edington simply hangs up.  Dispatcher 516, as he identifies himself on the call, goes so far as to call Edington back, but is only met with silence until Edington hangs up again.

Near the end of the call you can begin to hear the beginnings of a bit of urgency, possibly as he realizes the impact his actions are going to have on Barry James, himself, and both their families.

In the background you can hear a female dispatcher, who is talking to Charles James, the father of Barry James, who lies bleeding to death on his bedroom floor.

The second file is that conversation.  In it, Charles James is speaking with another dispatcher.  Once he explains to her that someone stabbed her son, she begins to ask the questions that are required to gather as much on-site information as possible for the police and first responders.

As the dispatcher routes emergency services to her, you can hear the James’ talking about why Edington did this, and Barry James’ mother says that Edington said something about his daughter.

Repeatedly Charles is asked about the neighbor, as the dispatcher tries to gather information for the police, as they respond to a potentially deadly situation.  The James’ family does not even seem to know the name of the neighbor who just stabbed their son.


Edington Pleads Guilty

15th June 2007

On August 28, 2006 Jonathan Edington arrived home from vacation, leaving his wife and 2-year-old daughter in Rhode Island, still enjoying themselves.  Once he got home his wife calls to give him some disturbing news.  Their daughter does not want to come home.

When Christina Edington questions her daughter further, she explains that she is afraid to go home because she is worried James Barry, their neighbor, will come into her room at night.

Upon hearing this, Jonathan Edington flies into a fury.  He hangs up the phone with his wife and heads next door to confront James Barry.

But he does a great deal more than merely argue or scream at the 59-year-old man, who still lives with his parents.  He brings with him a kitchen knife and after breaking into the home through a bedroom window, proceeds to stab the man over 12 times in the chest.

He then leaves through the same window and returns home.  When police arrive shortly afterwards, he is still in the kitchen of his home, covered in blood, the knife lieing on the countertop.

Edington was charged with first degree burglary and murder.

While the investigation into James Barry’s death was pretty clear-cut, the police still had something to investigate, namely the molestation charges against the stabbing victim.  But after a search of the Barry home and a complete investigation, they found no evidence Barry ever molested the Edington child.

On Friday Jonathan Edington pleaded quilty to first-degree manslaughter in the death of James Barry.  He could face a maximum of 20 years in prison.

State’s Attorney Jonathan Benedict told the judge in the case that while he thought the molestation claim was “bogus,” he did feel that Edington believe it was true when he attacked his neighbor.  This put Edington in a state of “extreme emotional disturbance” which was one of the defenses his attorneys planned to use during the trial.

A sentencing hearing will be held on August 17 2007.  Until then, Jonathan Edington remains free on $1 million bond.

UPDATE: 06/15/07 9:04 PM

State’s Prosecutor Benedict said today that he will ask for a sentence of 20 years for Edington.

It was also released that charges may have been brought against Christina Edington, had she given a formal statement to authorities.

Benedict called the molestation claim “bogus,” but said Christina Edington was not charged with a crime because she never gave a sworn statement to police.

“There’s no statute in Connecticut that covers that conduct,” Benedict said.

A defense psychiatrist had determined that she suffered from postpartum depression.


Edington To Use Insanity Defense

3rd May 2007

On August 28th, Jonathan Edington alleged broke into his neighbor’s home and stabbed him to death.  Barry James died on his bedroom floor, while his mother called 9-1-1.  She later told police that she watched Edington leave through the window he used to enter the room after attacking her son.

Edington burst into the home after he received a call from his wife, who was on vacation with their small child.  She told her husband that their daughter was afraid to come home because she was afraid of Barry.  The 2-year-old told her mother that he “puts it on her belly and her nose” and when her mother asked her when he did this, she told her, “He comes to me in the starry nights.”

When police arrived at the Edington home, they found him in his kitchen, washing blood from his hands and a bloody knife on the counter next to him.  They arrested charged him with first degree burglary and murder.

They have since investigated the claims of sexual abuse made by the Edington family, and found no evidence that Barry had any contact with their daughter.

Today Jonathan Edington’s lawyers filed papers in court, informing prosecutors they will be using a defense of extreme emotional disturbance, a form of the insanity defense.  They will offer the testimony of experts to show his impaired mental state at the time of the attack.


James Family Open Civil Case

18th January 2007

The family of Jonathon Edington, who is currently charged with the murder of Barry James, is now being sued by his family for $5 million dollars.

James’ sister and parents are suing the Edingtons due to the emotional distress caused by Jame’s murder.  Richard Meehan, the attorney for the family made a statement to reporters.

“There should be compensation to his estate, particularly his parents, for the ordeal they witnessed,” Meehan said. “They have not been able to return to their home because of this.”

According to reports, Edington received a phone call from his wife after returning from a trip.  During their conversation she told her husband their 2-year-old daughter did not want to return home because she was afraid of James.  She told her mother that he came to her at night and molested her.

Jonathon Edington then got off the phone, and allegedly broke into his next-door-neighbor’s home armed with a knife from his kitchen.  Edington attacked and stabbed him repeatedly then left through the same window through which he had entered.

Barry Jame’s mother was the one who found her son and call 9-1-1 who arrived at the scene to find Edington in his kitchen, with a bloody knife next to him on the counter, and blood on his clothes.


Police Unable to Verify Molestation Claim

20th October 2006

Jonathon Edington received a phone call on August 28, 2006 that changed the lives of so many people.

On that fateful day, he had returned home early from vacation, leaving his wife and daughter in Rhode Island. After he was home, his wife called, upset about a conversation she had with their daughter.

The little girl told her mother she did not want to return home, because of Barry. Barry meant James Barry, their 59-year-old neighbor. Her mother continued to question her and finally the girl told her something horrific.

The girl said “that Barry puts it on her belly and her nose.” When her mother asked her when James does this, she replied, “He comes to me in the starry nights.”

This was the subject of the phone call. Afterwards, Jonathon Edington took a knife, broke into the bedroom window of his neighbor, and stabbed his over 10 times, killing him.

The police arrived and took Edington into custody for the murder of Barry. The next day his wife filed molestation charges against the now deceased Barry.

Today the police released their findings in that investigation.

“We have not been able to corroborate the mother’s report,” said Bridgeport State’s Attorney Jonathan Benedict. “There’s not a lot of evidence on it at this point that we’ve been able to gather.”

UPDATE 10/19/06

The police clarified their previous statement, making sure to indicate there was no evidence found.

“There’s no evidence of any molestation occurring,” police Capt. Gary MacNamara said. “We’re confident that the evidence does not support any molestation.”

This case has been polarizing for many readers. Some have expressed support for Edington, feeling that he removed a child molestor and should not be punished. Others, and I count myself in this, wish things had gone a different way. That the Edington family had filed the molestation case first, then let the police do their job to investigate the accusations. Now we will probably never go what, if anything, was really going on between James Barry and the Edington child.

I know it must have been terrible to have their 2-year-old child saying such things. Parents always want to protect their children from situations like this. Parents also believe their children, sometimes when no one else does. The Edingtons were no different. They probably had no reason to doubt anything their child said to them.

But, as other experts have pointed out since the case made news, children can confuse fact and fiction, but not be lieing. Perhaps this was the case with the Edington’s daughter.

Now we will never know what happened. All we know if that one man is dead, another is charged with murder, and two families are forever changed.


Details Released About Molestation Claim

15th September 2006

A day after Jonathon Edington allegedly killed James Barry upon learning that he molested his 2-year-old daughter, his wife filed a police complaint. Today some details of that police report were released, which point to when the child reported the claim and some of what she said.

During their investigation, police have received a search warrant for a 1991 Toyota Cressida owned by the James family. According to the affidavit, police are searching for “cutting instruments and tools capable of gaining access to a locked premises’’ along with other evidence.

According to the police report, the girl told her mother about the alleged molestation while the family was visiting relatives in Rhode Island.

The girl “explained that she did not want to go home because of Barry,” police said in the report. When her mother asked her to explain, the girl said “that Barry puts it on her belly and her nose,” the report said. When her mother asked her when James does this, she replied, “He comes to me in the starry nights.”

Police are investigating the molestation claim but it may prove difficult to prove. Not only is the accused now dead, but the child’s age may come into play.

“I think there is certainly misgivings about a report of a 2-year-old. Children under 3 have very, very fragile abilities to recount their day,” said Lucy McGough, author of “Child Witnesses: Fragile Voices in the American Legal System.”
Children under 4 are difficult to get qualified to testify in court in many states because of concerns about the reliability of their statements, McGough said.

She does however state that 2-year-olds are able to make claims of sexual abuse.

“They may not know the words, but they can point to their body parts that were touched,” McGough said.

A voluntary, spontaneous report by a child may be more reliable than a claim arising from an adult questioning the child, McGough said.

Reading the few details of the complaint still paint a vivid picture. A young child, just 2 years old, listens in fear as her window slides open in her bedroom. She curls into the fetal position and tries to hide under the cover, maybe pretend to be sound asleep as the bed moves while he sits next to her.

She then hears the unmistakable sound of a zipper being released, or maybe just listening to the rustle of clothes being pulled down. She stares out her window, at the “starry night,” while he touches her and forces himself on her. After a while he gets up, and leaves through the window again. She is left alone, afraid but sure that it will happen again.

I am not sure, as no one really is except the child, if the complaint is true, if this is something in her imagination, or something that she saw and then confused with a true experience.

But what I do know is that there are children who have similar experiences every night. We may find that this specific case of child abuse cannot be substantiated, but that does not lessen the horror of what happens of thousands of children each year. They become victims of family members, friends, and strangers each day and are forever changed.

This case will eventually fade from the limelight. We will forget the names Jonathon Edington, James Barry. But what will not end is the fact that these types of cases will continue to happen. Some will be reported, many will not. And only a small fraction of those reported will ever find their way into a newspaper or online site such as this.

 

 

 
 
 
 
contact