Police: Homeless man arrested in fatal stabbing

Argument over drugs leads to deadly stabbing downtown, police say

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A homeless Jacksonville man was arrested Monday in the stabbing death of a 44-year-old man downtown, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said.

Lt. Steve Gallaher said Cody Beatrice, 23, got into a fight with Edward Clark over drugs, pulled out a knife and stabbed Clark once in the chest at Newnan and Beaver streets.

Beatrice ran off and Clark died in surgery at UF Health Jacksonville.

Beatrice was spotted heading toward the Mathews Bridge and was caught after a brief foot chase, Gallaher said.

He was questioned and charged with one count of murder.

Gallaher said the fight started when Beatrice approached Clark and two other homeless men and asked them for drugs. They rebuffed him and told him to "move along," and he fought them, Gallaher said.

That fight broke up, but minutes later Beatrice confronted Clark, chasing him around a car before another fight broke out and Beatrice pulled the knife, Gallaher said.

Beatrice's arrest history includes armed robbery, aggravated assault, disorderly intoxication and resisting a police officer.

Residents worried

A man who lives in the area said crime seems to be getting worse there.

“The police need to be more active and seen in the neighborhood,” Herbert Howard said.

JSO's crime-mapping tool shows that within the last month, within a 1-mile radius of the deadly stabbing, there have been 57 crimes, including more than a dozen assaults and several robberies and car break-ins. 

MORE: Find what crime is happening near you with JSO's crime-mapping tool

Sarah Carver said she finds herself wanting to avoid the Downtown area more and sadly wasn't surprised when she learned a man was stabbed.

“It's the reason I really don't step out. I come downtown to handle business and I go back home,” Carver said. “There's a lot of prostitution, drugs, crimes.”

About the Authors: