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Life sentence for man who murdered Edna Pinder, family's 'generous' matriarch

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
Homicide victim Edna Pinder

The loved ones of York City murder victim Edna Pinder honored her on Christmas by sharing their favorite memories of the family matriarch, said her daughter, Tarsha Eaddy.

"The common thread was her generosity and love," Eaddy told Common Pleas Judge Gregory M. Snyder on Tuesday, Dec. 31, at the sentencing hearing of Anthony Uvon Starks, the man who killed Pinder.

"(She was) one of the most generous people I've known," the grieving daughter said. "Now that our matriarch is gone, (I will) do my best to keep our family whole."

Starks, 53, of Baltimore, was sentenced Tuesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A jury on Nov. 20 took about 75 minutes to find Starks guilty of first- and second-degree murder for stabbing Pinder 14 times in her home on Kings Mill Road home about 14 months ago.

Her body was found by Eaddy on Oct. 25, 2018.

"I don't know how I'll ever get past that image in my mind," she said. "My mother didn't deserve what Anthony did to her, and this family doesn't deserve the pain we will live with for the remainder of our lives."

Eaddy said she sometimes still reaches for the phone to call her mother for a recipe or to share news about Pinder's grandchildren, on whom Pinder doted.

"She was so proud of them, and they miss her terribly," Eaddy told the judge.

Pinder's heart was open to all, according to her family.

"She saw Anthony Starks ... as someone she could help," Eaddy said. "And for that, she lost her life."

Also speaking Tuesday in court was Cecelia Butler, Pinder's sister, who recounted the pain and anguish family and friends have endured. Pinder's survivors include her two children, five siblings and four grandchildren.

"Because of his actions, our family will never be the same," Butler said, adding she misses her sister's smile, infectious laugh and family role as best cook.

No remorse: Butler said her family was raised in the church and believes in forgiveness, but noted that Starks "has yet to show even the tiniest bit of remorse" for murdering Pinder.

"Where was his compassion for Edna when he stabbed her 14 times and left her to die alone?" Butler wondered.

Starks had no visible reaction to the words of Eaddy or Butler. He appeared disinterested in the proceeding until it was his turn to speak.

He started out apologizing "for the whole situation," but then insisted he is innocent.

"I am not guilty of this, but it is what it is," Starks told Judge Snyder. "I know I didn't do this."

Anthony Starks

Snyder, in handing down Starks' life sentence, said he found it offensive that Starks continues to deny murdering Pinder.

"We struggle to put into words the disdain we feel for this defendant," the judge said. "There's no doubt Mr. Starks committed these crimes. ... This defendant will never leave prison — alive."

Snyder imposed life sentences on each of the two murder counts but ordered they run concurrently since they were for the same crime.

"If he had two lives to live, I would not hesitate to make these two sentences consecutive," Snyder said.

The background: Pinder, 65, and Starks had previously dated, prosecutors John Hamme and Jennifer Layman have said.

Security footage of the hallway outside Pinder's home put the blame for her death squarely on the defendant, and it was played for jurors at trial.

In the video, Starks can be seen entering Pinder's room at 11:30 p.m. Oct. 21, 2018, then 25 minutes later Pinder is seen leaving her room but returning a minute or two later.

At 11:57 p.m., Pinder again leaves her room and returns at 12:31 a.m. Oct. 22, 2018, the video showed.

"That is the last time we see the victim alive," lead Detective Travis Sowers has said. "No one entered the room besides Anthony Starks and Edna Pinder."

Jurors saw selected snippets of security video, but Sowers testified he watched four days' worth of security video taken by 16 cameras to ensure no one besides Pinder and Starks went into Pinder's room.

Stole car, phone, TV: Jurors also saw security footage of Starks pawning Pinder's cellphone in a York City pawnshop.

They also learned that Starks stole Pinder's car and big-screen television after killing her, York City Police have said.

Starks was on the run for more than a week after Pinder's death before being captured in Baltimore, according to police.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.