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Norfolk man admits he stabbed girlfriend to death while cradling infant in his arms

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Norfolk, Va. - An accused murderer admits he violently stabbed his girlfriend, 45-year-old Lena Smith, while cradling her infant granddaughter in his arms.

49-year-old Ulysses James tells NewsChannel 3 he was left with no other choice.

"I had to defend myself,” James says. “I had to."

James says the night was going well until she looked at his phone and then accused him of cheating.

"She went to the kitchen,” he says. “When she came back she had a knife."

James says he was holding Smith's 8-month-old granddaughter, when he says he yanked the knife away from Smith.

"Just out of instinct I stabbed her,” he says. “I was holding the baby in my right arm, when I got the knife I lunged out to stab her to get her away from me."

James says he remembers stabbing Smith twice, once in her side and again in her shoulder.

He says he called 911 but panicked and left his girlfriend bleeding on the floor and put the baby in her crib.

"I thought the paramedics would get there in time to give her whatever oxygen she would need to stop the bleeding,” he says. “I never thought she would die."

James was arrested just hours later on Friday, charged with Smith's murder.

Now he sits shackled and cuffed in jail on suicide watch.

"Still having problems getting the screams of that baby out of my head,” James says. “And the blood that I saw circulating on the floor."

James says his next court date is scheduled for March.


  • momof2

    He said, She said. Sadly, her voice can’t be heard. If this was indeed self defense, I feel very bad for this man.

  • Carl D.

    A 45 year old grandmother? That is waaaaay tooooo young! Sad for this tragedy though and my heart goes out to the granddaughter!

    • Emily K.

      Not really all that young, if she had kids at 20-25, that would put her daughter or son at 20-25, not too young!

  • Jaquie

    45 years old is not too young to be a grandmother. If a woman had a baby at 23 and then her daughter at 22… get a 45 year old grandmother…

  • bchambers

    That’s what you people comment on is her age!!!!! The woman was murdered!!!! What has this world come to. I’m so sorry for the family’s loss.

  • marv

    ok the question here is that is he telling the truth was it seld defense and if it was do we still fault him for doing wat he did if she would had stabbed him she would in the same shoes do we now fault her ..see this is wat needs to be addressed not no age limit who cares someone dead some is being accused was id the verdict

  • Shar

    It was instinct for this man to just stab some one? I confused, because isn’t it instinct for any normal functioning person to try and NOT stab someone?

  • Herman

    What is not addressed is domestic violence is perpetrated on men as well as women. When men complain , identical situations are brushed off as a woman’s scorn. More than likely, they both lived a abusive to each other style. Parents, as I was raised, not defending this mans action but we need to teach ladies the answer is not to use weapons and then later the other person retaliates and you become the “victim”, some do not understand there is a culture that women beat, hurt, and sometimes are the initiators of abuse to some men that have never abused another female. I pray that anyone male/female if you are in a violent relationship step away, you can very easily ruin your life,, because in this case a man could be dead instead of this young lady that lost her life!

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