Society

Homeless Man Who Was Beaten Into Comatose State Has Died

| by Reve Fisher
Robert Barnes.Robert Barnes.

A homeless man from Philadelphia who was beaten into a comatose state in April died on Nov. 25 (video below).

A security camera video shows a vehicle driving up to a Sunoco gas station during the April 7 incident. Six women and children attacked the man using a hammer, Mace and part of a rocking chair, reports NBC Philadelphia.

Barnes was in a comatose state following the attack and 40 percent of his skull was removed. Diane Barnes, Robert’s sister, said he eventually opened his eyes, but was in a vegetative state.

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“He’s not coherent and he’s not responding,” Diane told NBC Philadelphia in April. “So I really can’t talk to him and I don’t know if he hears me.”

He suffered from alcoholism and chose to be homeless instead of staying sober so he could live with family members, according to Diane.

“He had a loving family,” she told NBC Philadelphia. “He’s a brother. He was an uncle. He was a nephew. We loved him. It didn’t make him any different of a person because he was homeless.”

According to the Philadelphia Media Network, Aleathea Gillard, 34, Shareena Joachim, 23, and Kaisha Duggins, 24, were charged with aggravated assault, attempted murder and conspiracy, among other crimes. The three children involved, two of whom were one of the adult attacker’s children, pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy charges in June 2015. All were sentenced to juvenile detention centers.

Before Barnes’ death, prosecutors said all six defendants would face murder charges if he died.

Diane believes that “if anything comes from this,” more needs to be done to support the homeless.

Sources: WPVI-TV PhiladelphiaNBC Philadelphia, Philadelphia Media Network / Photo credit: Philadelphia Media Network