Family speaks after father stabbed to death in Riverside park

After a man with reported mental illness stabbed a man to death at a Riverside park last week, the family of the victim is speaking out as they prepare him for burial.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- In the midst of planning a funeral seven sisters come together Monday afternoon to go over some old yearbooks and pictures of their father, 74-year-old Ashley Kraan.

The sisters are meeting at their father’s house three days after he was attacked and stabbed to death at the Willowbranch Park in Riverside. It happened just three blocks from his home on Park Street around 2:30 p.m. Friday while he was walking his dog.

It’s not the first time he’s been attacked by his house. About 20 years ago, he was robbed at gunpoint in his backyard.

The man charged with his murder is 41-year-old Evan Freda, whose criminal history dates back to 1996 and includes a battery charge after he punched a gas station clerk and then resisted arrest from an officer.

According to the arrest report, Freda is listed as having a “mental, emotional, psychological illness.” It also goes on to say that family members reported him as being a “paranoid schizophrenic who refuses to take prescribed medication.” Police say he showed potential for possible escape or violent behavior while he was being booked into jail.

“Someone with this sort of mental illness should not be allowed to be back on the streets because it’s an illness,” said Julie Holloway, one of the victim’s daughters.

“I hope that wherever he lands he has remorse and he takes medicine. This could have all been prevented had someone monitored his medicine and insisted he take it,” said Jill Bunker, another daughter of the victim.

“I’m still processing everything,” said Alicia Jeffers, who was equally frustrated that the suspect was able to be out after such a lengthy criminal and mental illness history.

All sisters say they are hoping the detectives on the case return their call. They have few answers about what happened and they said it took almost ten hours before anyone in their family was notified by police of what happened last Friday.

Freda is expected to appear back in court on Nov. 27. The sisters say they plan to be there.

© 2017 WTLV-TV


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