Teen accused of stabbing Edinburg woman, 2 daughters

Shenandoah County Sheriffs deputy Derek Smith stands outside a minivan at the Edinburg Town Park on Thursday night after a woman and her two children were attacked. Rich Cooley/Daily

EDINBURG — An 18-year-old Edinburg man has been charged with stabbing a mother and her two young children in the town park on Thursday evening.

The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office arrested Samual Jacob Homer, 18, at the park Thursday and he has been charged with three felony counts of aggravated malicious wounding.

The three victims — a 27-year-old Edinburg woman and her two children, a 5-year-old girl and a 1-year-old girl — are in stable condition, Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter said at a news conference Friday.

He also elaborated on a statement he made Thursday night from the scene when he said that the victim did not know Homer. Carter said the woman who was attacked was able to identify her assailant, but could not confirm if she recognized who Homer was.

“When you hear of this incident, one would instantly think that there must be a relationship or it might be a domestic relationship or something like that,” Carter said. “That is not the case.”

Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Lt. Chris Baker talks on his phone as he walks outside the crime scene Thursday night at Edinburg Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

Homer appeared in both Shenandoah General District Court and Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court on Friday, After the bail hearings he was being held without bond at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail. Authorities do not believe he has a prior criminal record.

According to the bail determination form, Homer said that the devil possessed him and told him to kill the victims. He also said that he could not “overcome it.” The form additionally said that Homer had apologized and stated that he wanted to visit the victims to give them flowers. He was also concerned about “not going to school tomorrow.”

“It is obvious that [Homer] doesn’t fully comprehend process,” the form stated.

According to the criminal complaint, Homer had been playing at the park before the incident and then went to the bathroom. When he came out of the bathroom, he confronted the 5-year-old girl near the park’s playground and then attacked her with a knife. The girl received some non-life threatening wounds to her head, neck and arms, Carter said Friday.

The girl’s mother tried to immediately intervene, and that is when Homer began attacking the mother with the knife, Carter said. The mother was holding her 1-year-old daughter when the child suffered a non-life threatening knife wound to her head. The mother sustained at least 10 stab wounds to her upper body in addition to some laceration wounds.

Fire and rescue personnel stand outside an awaiting medical helicopter at Edinburg Town Park Thursday evening. Rich Cooley/Daily

At some point during the incident, Homer turned his attention away from the victims to other people in the park and discarded the knife he was holding, Carter said. The mother then grabbed the knife and threw it in a trash can to get it away from her assailant, who then began attacking her a second time by kicking and punching her.

“The victim, in my opinion, displayed incredible courage and a presence of mind during this incident…to deal with the situation as she did,” Carter said.

Emergency responders received the call just before 8 p.m. Thursday night, but it is not clear who made the call, Carter said. A deputy from the Sheriff’s Office was on duty in the area and responded immediately to the park where he tended to the mother. She was able to identify her attacker before losing consciousness, and Homer was then arrested without incident.

The mother was airlifted to Winchester Medical Center’s Intensive Care Unit where she is being treated for her injuries, Carter said, and her two children were treated at Shenandoah Memorial Hospital for their non-life threatening injuries.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wisely was also on the scene Thursday night, Carter said, and she made the determination on the charges against Homer based on consultation with the Sheriff’s Office and the evidence collected at the scene.

Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office deputy Jeremy Dugan takes notes as he holds the perimeter of the crime scene inside Edinburg Town Park on Thursday night. Rich Cooley/Daily

“It’s my understanding once she has all the details of the incident, she’ll review and make sure if there are any additional charges that need to be placed, or if the ones that we’ve placed changed or enhanced,” Carter said.

There will be a preliminary hearing Friday in Shenandoah General District Court for the malicious wounding charge involving the mother, and a hearing on Thursday in Shenandoah Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court for the charges involving the two children. The investigation in this case is still ongoing.

Contact staff writer Briahnna Brown at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or bbrown@nvdaily.com

Shenandoah County Sheriff's Office Lt. Rebecca Mauck, left, and Investigator Paul Taylor speak to personnel in the back of an ambulance at Edinburg Park. Rich Cooley/Daily

Sheriff's Office deputies Josh Cook, left, and Heath Painter, right, stand inside the crime scene area at the park on Thursday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy C. Carter speaks Friday morning during a news conference. Rich Cooley/Daily

Samuel Homer