Coral Edgar, a former teen model, was found guilty of murder among five other accomplices for the brutal death of Lee McKnight. Edgar reportedly lured McKnight on the presumption of sex in order for the drug dealer, Jamie Davison, and three other men, to beat, torture, and ultimately kill McKnight in a two-hour ordeal.
All six involved, Jamie Davison, 26, Arron Graham, 26, Jamie Lee Roberts, 18, Carol Edgar, 47, Coral Edgar, 26, and Paul Roberts, 51, all from Carlisle, Cumbria, were given life in prison for the “honeytrap,” in which Lee McKnight was lured to his death on the presumption of sex with Coral Edgar. Last year’s July 24 incident left McKnight on the brink of death, after a two-hour beating in Coral Edgar’s home, before Davison and his accomplices wrapped the broken body of McKnight and dumped him in a nearby river.
A jury found the group of six guilty of murder after a 27-hour deliberation. A unanimous decision convicted Davison, Graham, Jamie Lee Roberts, and Coral Edgar. Carol Edgar and Paul Roberts were convicted on a 10-2 majority.
Lee McKnight, who was a local drug dealer, owed an extensive amount of money to Jamie Davison, who then persuaded Coral Edgar to lure McKnight to her home using “booty pics.” The message exchange was enough to ruse McKnight, who arrived at the home around 2 a.m. on July 24. Davison and his colleagues had set up the trap while Coral and her mother hid in the living room, and proceeded to beat McKnight throughout the two hours.
The group of four men tied Lee McKnight to a chair, punched and kicked him, and proceeded to whip him with a diamante-handled riding crop, which was purchased from a sex shop. Near-death, McKnight was wrapped in a carpet before Davison and his accomplices drove him to the River Caldew. Hours later, McKnight’s lifeless body was found by a local farmer, who immediately contacted authorities.
Though Coral Edgar claimed she had not participated in the beating, she was convicted of murder for using a past relationship with the victim to lure him to her home, knowing in advance that he would die. Prosecutor, Tim Cray, said that “almost certainly this was a ruse – to use slang – these were booty messages, Lee believing perhaps he was on a promise of sex if he turned up at Coral’s.”
The prosecutor continued, saying “that’s why we say she is the ruse, because what’s the alternative? By the time he traveled, the scene had been set for the attack.” According to Cray, Lee McKnight was a “marked man” and was murdered because he owed a fellow drug dealer an extensive amount of money.
Investigators uncovered a larger scheme at play, after it was found that Davison was in desperate need of recovering the cash, because he too was in debt farther up the “drug dealer” chain. After failing to find McKnight at his home, Davison persuaded Edgar to lure him to her home, where they could recover the funds.
Coral Edgar explained that during the attack, “I’ve just stayed in the living room, covering my ears and shutting my eyes.” She did admit that when Davison and his colleagues took McKnight’s battered body to the river, she stayed behind and cleaned the kitchen.
During the ordeal, McKnight suffered 36 blunt force trauma wounds to his head, a depressed skull fracture, a brain bleed, and a broken neck bone. It was later concluded that he was alive despite his traumatic wounds while being transported off-site to River Caldew. He died after being tossed over a barbed-wire fence and left for dead in the water.
During the July 24 attack, neighbors heard immense cries of pain and loud music which attempted to cover the evidence. According to prosecutors, all accomplices share an equal part in the murder of Lee McKnight, including Coral Edgar and the five others. Clear evidence was presented during the trial on Monday, indicating that all six individuals should be convicted of murder.
“These co-conspirators were all responsible for Lee McKnight’s death,” said Isla Chilton from the Crown Prosecution Service. “Through CCTV, phone, and forensic evidence, the CPS was able to present the jury with compelling evidence that undoubtedly showed the guilt of the accused. Lee McKnight’s tragic and senseless murder has shocked the community – all due to the greed of the drug dealers. We hope his family and friends feel justice has been served.”