Man charged with murdering longtime girlfriend

William Edwards
A mug shot of William Edwards.

BENTON HARBOR, Mich. (WOOD) — A Benton Harbor man has been charged in the shooting death of the mother of his children.

Monday, 37-year-old William Dawun Edwards was arraigned on charges of open murder, felon in possession of a firearm and two counts of felony firearm in the shooting death of Novena Mathis.

Novena Mathis.
Photo: An undated courtesy photo of Novena Mathis.

On Jan. 7, Edwards allegedly shot Mathis, 38, while they both sat in her car. She was later found dead in her car near 8th Street in Benton Harbor.

Investigators believe Edwards then went to his mother’s apartment on S. Westnedge Street. Police were called to the apartment after he got into a confrontation with his mother.

Edwards was arrested in Kalamazoo on unrelated drug and weapon charges. Authorities found a firearm at the apartment which investigators believe is the murder weapon.

Police previously said Edwards and Mathis had been involved for about 20 years and had two children together. There was a history of domestic violence.