[UPDATED WITH CONVICTION] Raheem Abdul Edwards Changed Names, Frequently Moved and Gnawed Off Fingerprints, But Still Could Not Escape Anaheim Murder Rap
It took two days for a jury to convict the 30-year-old.
Edwards, whose case was featured on TV's America's Most Wanted while he was still on the lam, was found guilty of one felony count of special-circumstances murder in the commission of robbery and burglary.
He faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole at his hearing scheduled for March 4 in Santa Ana.
ORIGINAL POST, FEB. 8, 7:56 A.M.: "Radio" Raheem Abdul Edwards--who is tied to a murder in New York City and tried to mask his identity by frequently changing names and gnawing off his fingerprints--finally faces trial in Santa Ana this morning for his role in the 2000 shooting-murder of a Korean-American liquor-store owner in Anaheim.
Thanks to the persistence of cops throughout the country, Edwards could be going away for life.
The 30-year-old faces life in prison without parole if convicted of one felony count of special-circumstances murder in the commission of robbery and burglary.
|Liquor store video|
The pair put several items on the counter before one walked to the back of the store. As Kim followed him, the second man left the store, returned and pulled a gun from his waistband.
Kim then struggled to get away, running toward the front of the store, but the gunman fired one shot into the owner's back. As Kim was on the floor and trying to crawl away, he was shot execution-style in the back of the head.
The other bandit went to empty the cash register, and the gunman watched the door. When a customer pulled into the parking lot, the pair fled.
Following the cross-country investigations that finally resulted in the pair's capture is fascinating (hat tip to America's Most Wanted).
Feeney moved to Brooklyn, New York, where he went by "Bobby Two-Shots" because he killed Kim with two shots. But he did not fit in well there. After getting beat up in a mugging, he relocated to Dubuque, Iowa, where he was later convicted of rape and had to register as a sex offender.
He skipped town, but detectives from New York and Dubuque learned he had family in Independence, Missouri. They checked to see if police knew him there. They did--he was an informant.
When Independence police held Feeney on the Iowa parole violating, they discovered Anaheim detectives were on their way to question him about the liquor-store murder. Feeney went on to not only confess, but also give up Edwards. He said they robbed the store because they needed money to buy Christmas gifts.
Feeney's arrest--he was later sentenced to life without parole in June 2008--allowed authorities to release Edwards' juvenile fingerprints with his arrest warrant. Turns out he'd been hopping the country as well.
He was wanted for a July 4, 2004, murder in New York City, where he accompanied one of his friends seeking revenge from a beating. But the beater was gone. Edwards, who apparently had to kill someone, whipped out a gun and fired several shots at an innocent young man passing by, Daniel Springer, according to police. Four bullets went into Springer's back, and he died at the hospital.
Edwards later surfaced in Scranton, Pennsylvania, riding in the back seat of a car pulled over for swerving. As the driver was being arrested for DUI, a cop asked for the other occupants' IDs. Edwards handed over a New York license with the name Lamesh Maxwell, but the mugshot was scratched off. He told the officer his girlfriend got mad and defaced it, but the cop did not believe him. So, he handed over a different license, this one bearing the name Jayvana Waters.
Now the officer wanted the mystery man's fingerprints--at the police station. There, the suspect seemed fascinated--and edgy--by the fingerprint process, biting at his scarred fingertips as he awaited his turn to press the ink.
Years of chewing off his fingertips were not enough to stop Scranton cops from getting a hit in the national database, identifying him as Raheem Abdul Edwards, wanted for murders in Anaheim and New York. But that hit came a couple of weeks after Edwards was released. He was long gone again.
It was believed Edwards headed for Brooklyn, but a tip later came that he also knew people in Detroit, Michigan. Big Apple detectives, working with the U.S. Marshal's Office, later got an address--and arrived there as Radio Raheem was fast asleep.
Edwards was extradited from New York to Orange County in July 2009--a little lighter in the fingers.
The Orange County district attorney's office statement on the case follows on the next page: