Kenya Edmonds Acquitted In Death Of Harlem Woman Who Fell From 14th-Floor Balcony

June 2, 2015  |  

Three years after being charged in the death of 20-year-old Sienna Edwards (pictured above), Kenya Edmonds, 27, has been acquitted, the New York Daily News reports.

On March 29, 2012, Edwards visited Edmonds’ Bronx apartment to deliver birthday gifts to Edmonds’ 3-year-old daughter around 9:30 pm. Edwards dropped off the gifts as a favor to her boyfriend’s cousin who is the child’s father and Edmonds’ ex-boyfriend, Carl Purcell. Purcell was unable to deliver himself due to a protective order, according to the New York Times.

Upon her entrance into the Tremont apartment, an altercation ensued between Edwards, Edmonds, Edmonds’ sister and another woman who was in the apartment. Edmonds’ daughter was also in the apartment at the time. Realizing that she was in a jam and seemingly unbeknownst to the women, Edwards dialed 911. She never spoke into the phone, but the 911 operator overheard at least six threats made by several female voices, including Edmonds.

“You’re not going to leave here alive; you’re not going to leave here alive,” the operator heard one voice say, before adding, “The only way you’re getting by me is in a body bag.”

Realizing that Edwards was trying to call for help without alerting the other women, the operator quickly realized the severity of the situation and dispatched a patrol car from a local precinct into the general area. Unfortunately, officers were unable to pinpoint Edwards’ exact location because she called from a cell phone. According to Edwards’ boyfriend, Timothy Smith, Edwards phoned him and informed him that one of the women held a knife to her throat.

“When she called me, she said they had a knife to her neck,” Smith tearfully told reporters. “I called her back 50 times, but I never heard back from her.”

Shortly after, Edwards fell from Edmonds’ 14th-floor balcony to her death. By 10 p.m., a 911 call placed from Edmonds’ apartment reported that a woman had committed suicide. After arriving at the scene, it became apparent that to investigators that Edwards’ death was not a suicide attempt.

According to a heartbroken Smith, the unfortunate incident was the result of mistaken identity. It seems that Edmonds was under the impression that Edwards was Purcell’s new girlfriend. Prior to the deadly encounter, Smith says that the women had never met each other.

“[Edmonds] was mad because Sienna came to her house for her baby’s father,” one of Edwards’ relatives said.

An investigation resulted in officers concluding that Edwards was either pushed off of the balcony or fell to her death while trying to escape the women she believed were trying to kill her. Officers say that she was trying to jump from one balcony to the next when she fell. Edmonds was charged with 2nd-degree murder and 1st-degree manslaughter. After spending three years on Rikers Island to await trial, Edmonds was acquitted on all charges relating to Edwards’ death.

“I turned around …and my daughter was crying. ‘Mommy, are you coming home?’ she said, and I said, ‘That’s right, mommy is going to pick you up from school,’” Edmonds told the New York Daily News of Monday’s verdict.

She credits her daughter in keeping her strong during the lengthy trial.

“If you know in your heart you are innocent, keep fighting … don’t let the court system pressure you,” she shared.

While it’s touching that Edmonds was able to be reunited with her daughter after being separated from her for three years, it’s sad to think that Edwards’ mom will never be able to embrace her daughter again.

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

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