A 32-year-old woman charged with stabbing three female relatives at a Fourth of July cookout in Landover has a history of mental illness and was arrested last fall after she allegedly attacked her stepfather with a butcher knife, according to court records.
One of the women stabbed at the Sunday cookout, Juanita Elizabeth Harrison, 35, of the 7300 block of Sheriff Road in Landover, died Monday night at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Prince George's County police said yesterday. The other two were treated for minor injuries and cuts, police said.
Police said the three women were holding a family cookout in the 7400 block of Village Green Terrace in Landover about 4 p.m. Sunday when Sheila Ann Adams, of the 6000 block of State Street in Cheverly, showed up uninvited.
According to charging documents filed in court, Adams followed Harrison into a bathroom a short time later and stabbed her several times in the back with a kitchen knife.
Two other relatives--a 60-year-old woman from Washington and a 58-year-old woman from Landover--tackled Adams and subdued her, police said.
Adams was charged with two counts of first-degree assault Sunday and is being held in lieu of $60,000 bond in the Prince George's County jail. Police said yesterday that they expect to file additional charges in connection with Harrison's death.
Police said they are still trying to determine why Harrison was attacked and what happened in the moments before the stabbing. Investigators said the four women were related, but they did not specify how. Family members could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Adams has been charged previously with assaulting a relative, according to court records. On Sept. 18, she was arrested after her stepfather reported that she stabbed him in the forehead with an eight-inch butcher knife in their home in the 1900 block of Belle Haven Drive in Landover.
Adams's stepfather, James Russell Morton, 68, had told police that she had been released the day before from the psychiatric ward at Prince George's Hospital Center.
Adams was charged with first-degree assault, second-degree assault and carrying a dangerous weapon with intent to injure. Prosecutors dropped the charges on Nov. 23, six weeks after Morton, the main witness in the case, died of heart problems related to pneumonia, according to court records.
Other court records show that in March 1998, Adams was involuntarily committed to a mental health clinic by a Prince George's County judge after family members filed papers requesting that she undergo an emergency evaluation.