Three Black Women Will Face Charges For Beating Death of Homeless Vet
The lie of a ten-year-old boy last spring has led to murder charges against his mother and two other women, and probable charges against three young teenagers in the fatal beating of a homeless man in a section of north Philadelphia.
Robert Barnes, 51, pumped gas for tips at a Sunoco station succumbed on November 25 after being in a coma for nearly eight months as a result of brain injuries sustained when he was savagely beaten on April 7.
Aleathea Gillard, 34, Kaisha Duggins, 24, and Shareena Joachim, 24, have been in custody since the time of the assault and will be arraigned on murder charges next week.
The District Attorney has stated that the three teenagers, aged 12, 13 and 14, who pleaded guilty to lesser charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy charges, will now likely face murder charges.
Gillard’s ten-year-old told his mother he was late in returning home because Barnes had “hit” him at the Sunoco station where he too occasionally pumped gas for tips.
In fact, the child had hurt himself when he fell off his bicycle, however Gillard, Duggins and Joachim, armed themselves with a hammer, the leg of a chair and mace and returned to the station along with three young teenagers, including Gillard’s 12 and 14-year-old children, to exact revenge.
Video surveillance from the Sunoco camera shows the three women and teenagers arriving in a minivan and ambushing Barnes near the entrance to the convenience store.
Police reports state that the homeless victim fell to the ground after Duggins clubbed him with the hammer. He was then repeatedly beaten with the chair leg by Gillard, but when the third defendant, Joachim, attempted to use pepper-spray on Barnes, she inadvertently hit Gillard’s 13-year-old son instead.
The three women and the teenagers, some spattered with Barnes’s blood, fled the scene and drove to a hospital seeking emergency treatment for the teenager. They were arrested at the ER a short time later.
Barnes’s sister, Diane, told reporters that the ambulance driver said her brother was conscious and was able to relate that he had been “beat by a hammer, so he knew what happened to him.”
The victim lapsed into unconsciousness and despite emergency surgery to remove a portion of his skull in order to alleviate pressure on the brain, he fell into a coma and never regained consciousness.
Diane Barnes said she feels Gillard, accomplished what she set out to do.
“I want this mother that did this, I want her to get the death penalty. I just think it’s terrible what she did, she brought all those people down with her, she initiated it all. And you know, she went there equipped with everything she needed to do this.”
Pennsylvania’s governor, Tom Wolfe, issued a moratorium on the death penalty on February 13 pending a review of the policies and procedures of capital punishment in that state.
Only three executions have taken place in Pennsylvania since 1976, the last in 1999.