Houston & Peach

Police: Argument over cellphone led to fatal stabbing in Byron

An argument over a cellphone escalated into the fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old Byron woman, police said.

An autopsy confirmed that Destiny Clark bled to death after, authorities say, her boyfriend stabbed her once in the neck with a steak knife.

The knife punctured a vein in the neck. She likely died within a couple of minutes, Peach County Coroner Kerry Rooks said Tuesday.

Ratavius Canion, 24, remained jailed in Peach County on a murder charge in connection with the stabbing at Clark’s duplex apartment on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive in Byron.

The couple argued about Canion planning to take a shared cellphone with him when he went out to get some pizza, Byron police Chief Wesley Cannon said, and the disagreement turned physical.

Clark had other marks on her body consistent with being pushed and shoved while Canion had scratches on his face also indicative of a struggle, Cannon said.

At 2:49 p.m. Friday, police were dispatched to Clark’s residence after an anonymous 911 caller reported there had been a “murder in Byron,” said Cannon, who has since reviewed the 911 tape. The caller gave the address of the apartment before hanging up.

Canion, who peered through a window of the apartment, asked arriving officers to come to the back door. He told police that he and his girlfriend had gotten into a fight, and she was dead, Cannon said.

Her body was found in a large pool of blood on the tile floor of the living room, Cannon said. Her 3-month-old daughter was strapped in a car seat in a bedroom, he said.

Canion later told police that Clark had the knife, and in the struggle, it ended up in her neck, Cannon said.

Canion told police he was the father of the infant. Clark’s other child, whom Cannon estimated at age 5 or 6, was at school when the incident occurred. Clark’s mother and stepfather are working with the Division of Family and Children Services and Juvenile Court in hopes of obtaining custody of the children, Cannon said. The children are with them now, he said.

Also, police have determined that Canion’s brother used a borrowed cellphone to place the 911 call from the front yard of Clark’s apartment, Cannon said.

Ratavius Canion had asked his brother to come over after the incident. His brother came, saw the body and told Canion to call police, Cannon said. The brother then went outside, borrowed a cellphone from a neighbor who was walking by, called 911 and left before police arrived, Cannon said.

Clark was stabbed within an hour before the 911 call, Cannon said.

To contact writer Becky Purser, call 256-9559.