E’Dena Hines, 33, was found fatally stabbed early on Sunday in a street near her apartment in the city’s Washington Heights neighbourhood, according to the New York Police Department.
She had suffered multiple stab wounds to the torso and was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.
Lamar Davenport, 30, was taken into custody and transferred to a hospital for mental evaluation, police said.
Davenport had been seen by witnesses attacking Hines, yelling “get out, devils. I cast you out, devils,” according to reports in the Daily News and New York Post.
He was charged with second-degree murder, police said. He remained hospitalised under evaluation, police said.
Hines and Davenport lived together at 43 West 162nd St, police said.
Hines studied acting at New York University and was an actress, writer, and acting instructor, according to her website.
Freeman, 78, has appeared in more than 100 films, among them Invictus, The Shawshank Redemption and Unforgiven.
“I want to acknowledge the tremendous outpouring of love and support my family has received regarding the tragic and senseless passing of my grand-daughter Edena Hines,” Freeman said in a posting on his Facebook page.
Hines was Freeman’s step-granddaughter but he never referred to her as that.
She was the grand-daughter of his first wife Jeanette Adair Bradshaw, who was divorced from Freeman in 1979.