DETROIT – A jury has found a 29-year-old woman guilty of involuntary manslaughter in the deadly stabbing of another woman on a Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus.
Tiffanie Edwards was charged with first-degree murder in the death of 50-year-old Charla Williams. Edwards went to trial on the murder charge, but a jury has decided to convict her on the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter. She will be sentenced April 4.
Williams was stabbed in the face and body with a knife on Aug. 26 at a bus stop on the city's west side. Her attacker ran off after the stabbing, but Edwards was arrested after a bus passenger's cellphone video of the attack was aired by news outlets. It led to a tip for police.
Witness accounts say it was an argument between three women which lasted about 20 minutes before the victim started to leave the bus at Rosa Parks and the Boulevard. One witness said it didn't get physical until an older woman got up and shoved her walker at the defendant, telling her to move.
That's when a man on the bus started recording it on his phone. Edwards is shown in the video wearing black. Williams is shown in white.
"I think clearly we see that Ms. Edwards was defending herself," said defense attorney Kareem Johnson. "She was on the bus. She was attacked by an object that was being used as a weapon and she did what she thought was necessary to defend herself at that time."
Witnesses say it started when a mother took exception with the victim's foul language around children and that it escalated when she bumped the defendant with her walker as she tried to get off the bus.
At that point, witnesses say, Williams was bleeding badly. The video shows her hand appear with blood on it. Edwards it shown charging at Williams once more as the video ends.