Akron Police arrest suspect in park murder

Akron Police arrest suspect in park murder
Edgardo Cheverez (Source: Akron Police)
Edgardo Cheverez (Source: Akron Police)

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - An arrest has been made after a homeless man was found murdered in Akron's Grace Park on Prospect Street early Tuesday morning.

Antwaun Maurice Smith, 44, was found by passersby lying on the ground next to a park bench around 6:30 a.m.

James Dennis came to the park on the morning of his birthday expecting to see his friend and celebrate. Instead, he was met by police at a crime scene.

"I didn't want to look at the body. But I knew who it was because I saw him the night before and I knew what he was wearing," said Dennis.

Smith was pronounced dead at the scene. Officials say he suffered blunt force trauma to the head.

Loved ones built a makeshift memorial for Smith on the bench where he was killed.

"He'd do anything for you. He'd help whenever he had a chance," said best friend Dennis.

Conni Somosko says this group of friends that gathers in Grace Park every day is more like a family, and Smith was one of their own.

"They took somebody's life, a grandfather, a brother, a boyfriend, a son," said Somosko.

Akron Police detectives arrested Edgardo Damien Cheverez, 25, who is also said to be homeless. He is charged with murder and tampering with evidence and is in the Summit County Jail.

Cheverez is set to be arraigned Wednesday in Akron Municipal Court.

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