Fayetteville man gets life for killing pregnant wife, mother with baseball bat, knife

Johnny Thomas Edwards IV

Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's Office

Credit: Fayette County Sheriff's Office

Johnny Thomas Edwards IV

A Fayette County man has been convicted of killing his pregnant wife and his mother in 2019 by stabbing them with a steak knife and bludgeoning them with a baseball bat.

Johnny Thomas Edwards IV pleaded guilty but mentally ill to feticide, or causing the death of a fetus, and two counts of malice murder Monday, Griffin Judicial Circuit District Attorney Marie Broder’s office said in a news release Tuesday. Prosecutors agreed not to pursue two counts of felony murder against the 36-year-old Fayetteville man as part of the negotiated plea deal.

Senior Judge Arch McGarity sentenced Edwards to life in prison without the possibility of parole. According to Broder, that sentence means Edwards will never be released from prison.

Edwards is a former football standout at Starr’s Mill High School who went on to play defense back at Wake Forest, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported.

The sentence comes more than two years after Edwards killed his 57-year-old mother, Kathy Edwards. and his 31-year-old wife, Venus Quanteh, who was five months pregnant at the time.

Broder said prosecutors were never able to determine a motive for the double homicide, which happened Dec. 7, 2019.

Authorities from the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office said Johnny Edwards called 911 shortly after the killings and confessed. He told dispatchers he’d be waiting for deputies outside his mother’s Fayette County home along Coventry Court.

When officers arrived, Johnny Edwards answered the door covered with blood on his ears, neck, hands, pants and sandals, attorneys said.

Deputies found both victims lying dead in a pool of blood in an upstairs bedroom. Quanteh’s body was near the doorway and Kathy Edwards’ was near the bed. The wooden baseball bat Edwards used to fracture both women’s skulls laid covered in blood between their bodies.

In the bathroom, officers found a bloody steak knife on the floor. Attorneys said the pregnant wife suffered cuts to her head and she was stabbed in the cheek. He unborn child also died in the attack. Kathy Edwards had been stabbed multiple times in the neck and had cuts on her scalp and nose.

“This case is truly heartbreaking and horrific,” Broder said during Monday’s plea hearing, according to the news release. “The family members in this case lost a mother, a grandchild, a wife, and so much more. This is a just sentence for such a heinous crime, as the defendant can not hurt anyone else.”