‘I killed my mother and my wife’

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Double murder suspect Johnny Edwards IV. Photo/Fayette County Jail.
Double murder suspect Johnny Edwards IV. Photo/Fayette County Jail.

Double murder suspect Johnny Edwards IV calmly told the 911 operator his address and said, ‘I’ll be outside’ — 

And waiting outside his parents’ home in the upscale Highgrove subdivision Saturday, Dec. 7, was the 34-year-old son and husband, who was taken into custody without incident by arriving Fayette County Sheriff’s deputies.

Inside the brick home on Coventry Court off Redwine Road were the beaten bodies of his mother, Dr. Kathy Ann Edwards, 57, and his 5-month pregnant wife, Venus Quanteh, age 31. Both died from “blunt force trauma,” according to authorities.

Law enforcement sources have been withholding any information about what was used to kill the two women, although unverified social media postings have referred to a baseball bat.

The death of his mother, a physician with the Emory Healthcare system with an office in Peachtree City, has hit many friends and patients hard.

One woman who emailed TheCitizen.com said she was having a hard time coming to grips with the death of her doctor and friend.

“Dr. Edwards (Kathy) listened, truly cared, had a sense of humor and loved her family. I thought so much of her, that I continued to see her after we moved to Florida. Yes, I would make the drive,” patient D.H. said. “I’m having a very hard time with this.” She asked that her name be withheld.

Meanwhile, a Facebook posting by someone who identified herself as the mother of the murder suspect’s wife is asking for financial help to facilitate the return of the body of Venus Quanteh, “back to Colorado or Baltimore, Maryland to her family.” The posting is by Jenneh Bernice Binda.

“She was killed in a domestic violence [sic] by her husband. And she was 5 months pregnant,” the post says. The post also says that Venus Quanteh also left behind a 12-year-old daughter.

Law enforcement is releasing almost no information about the rare Fayette County double murder. It’s been 15 years since an infamous double murder in Fayette in which two underage girls stabbed to death the grandparents of one of the girls. Holly Harvey, then 15, and Sandy Ketchum, then 16, pled guilty in that slaying that garnered nationwide headlines.

In the double murder last Saturday, the suspect apparently made no statement other than what he told the 911 operator. “Yes. I killed my mother and my wife. Johnny Edwards at 130 Coventry Court. I’ll be outside.” At that point the call ended.

Edwards was booked in at the Fayette County Jail Saturday and is being held without bail. He is likely to face the death penalty in a future trial.

So far, a motive for the killing of the two women has not been made public. It is known that the younger Edwards, a former football standout at Starr’s Mill High School, was staying with Edwards’ parents. The father, Johnny Edwards III, was on a trip out of state when the murders occurred.

Autopsies have been performed but no findings have been made public.

Sheriff Babb said Edwards, IV, and his wife resided at the home, adding that the three were the only people in the home at the time of the crime.

Babb said Edwards was taken into custody without incident, adding that bond was denied.

With no information being released by authorities about the suspect, an internet search turned up information about brighter days for the family.

Edwards in his high school football playing days as a three-year starter at Starr’s Mill High School just south of Peachtree City was listed as one of Georgia’s top 50 football players by the time he graduated in 2003.

According to a Wake Forest University football article from 2005, Edwards had appeared on the Starr’s Mill Honor Roll and Principal’s List and was a member of the National Society of High School Scholars before his graduation.

At Wake Forest, Edwards majored in history. He was listed as the son of Johnny and Dr. Kathy Edwards with a brother, Trenton. At Wake Forest Edwards was red-shirted in 2003 as a true freshman, played in 10 games in 2004 and was listed as a returning starter in the defensive secondary for 2005.

One social media post by a patient of Dr. Edwards remarked that the doctor took time off from her medical practice to spend more time visiting her son at Wake Forest, especially during the football season in the years after his high school graduation.

In a question and answer sidebar in the Wake Forest sports article, Edwards said his best non-athletic talent was “playing the piano.” Asked who he admired most, Edwards answered, “My parents.” — Additional reporting by Ben Nelms.

130 Coventry Court, scene of double homicide Dec. 7. Photo/Ben Nelms.
130 Coventry Court, scene of double homicide Dec. 7. Photo/Ben Nelms.

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