S.W. Phila. man to be tried in stabbing death of grandmother

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A Southwest Philadelphia man with a history of mental illness has been ordered to stand trial for murder in the stabbing death of his 70-year-old grandmother in her bedroom.


“She provoked me to do that,” said Derek Dabney, 29, in a video-recorded interview with police homicide Detective Brian Peters.

The video segment was played Wednesday during a preliminary hearing in which Municipal Court Judge Karen Y. Simmons held Dabney on murder and weapons charges in the Jan. 21 slaying of Geraldine McCoy.


Assistant District Attorney Gail Fairman said McCoy was found dead on the second floor of her home in the 7900 block of Caesar Place in Eastwick. Fairman said the autopsy showed McCoy was stabbed 44 times, including wounds that punctured both lungs and her liver.





Peters testified that Dabney told him that he was living with his maternal grandmother because he had just been released from jail for an incident in which he assaulted his younger brother, a juvenile.

According to Peters, Dabney said McCoy wanted him to leave her house and woke him several times while he was sleeping. Angry about being awakened, Dabney said, he got a kitchen knife and stabbed his grandmother while she was in bed.

Defense attorney Geoffrey Kilroy asked Peters if he would have continued questioning Dabney if he had known about his history of mental illness.

Peters said Dabney was coherent and did not appear to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.




Dabney’s father, Maurice, testified that he called police the day after his mother-in-law was slain, after he spotted his son parking a gold Toyota Camry in front of his house. Dabney said he believed the Camry belonged to McCoy.





















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