Video: Dad kills neighbor suspected in abuse

updated 8/31/2006 9:30:29 AM ET 2006-08-31T13:30:29

A lawyer climbed through a neighbor’s bedroom window and stabbed him to death after being told by a family member that the man had molested his 2-year-old daughter, authorities say.

Barry James, 58, was stabbed in the chest nearly a dozen times Monday. The lawyer, Jonathon Edington, 29, was charged with murder and burglary and was released on $1 million bail Wednesday.

Capt. Gary MacNamara said that police had not received a complaint about the child being assaulted before the killing, and “we have no indication it’s true or not true.”

Edington’s attorney, Michael Sherman, said the information came from Edington’s wife. “The daughter gave the mother information which was alarming and disturbing. The mom relayed it to her husband. That was the spark,” Sherman said.

James’ 87-year-old mother discovered his body. When officers went to Edington’s home, they found him standing by his kitchen sink with what appeared to be blood on him, and a large kitchen knife next to him on a counter, authorities said

“He’s in shock,” Edington’s attorney said. “This is the most unexpected turn of events one can imagine with this young man’s background.”

Police had gone to the neighborhood before, when Edington called to complain that he could see James through a window, police said. “Either he was partly clothed or revealed parts of his anatomy that were inappropriate,” MacNamara said.

Edington, a graduate of Syracuse University and Fordham University Law School, has been practicing patent law, Sherman said. Police said Edington has no criminal record.

Rita James declined to comment on her son’s death.

James served two days behind bars in 2001 on a drunken driving charge, according to the state Correction Department.

“He had some bizarre behavior over the last month,” said Darrell Maynard, a neighbor. “He drove his car through his garage, hit the other neighbor’s building.”

Another time a neighbor found James intoxicated on the street, Maynard said. James shouted obscenities at children, he said.

As for Edington, Maynard said: “Something had to happen that was terrible for this to have occurred.” Edington “seemed like a computer geek or something. He was not anybody you would ever feel you were threatened by.”

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