A homeless man severely injured during a vicious beating at a gas station in Olney died Wednesday - and now, police and prosecutors are waiting for a medical examiner to determine the cause of death before deciding whether to proceed with murder charges in the case.
Robert Barnes, 51, was attacked at the Sunoco at 5338 N. Fifth St. on April 7, after, police said, a child falsely told his mother that Barnes had hit him. That prompted the boy's mother, two other women and three juveniles to drive to the gas station and beat Barnes with a hammer and a leg of a rocking chair, police said.
Barnes' skull was fractured, and he was left in a vegetative state after the attack, his family said. He was transferred to Abington Memorial Hospital on Sunday after his condition declined.
Earlier this year, prosecutors had said that all six people involved in the incident would face murder charges if Barnes died.
Philadelphia police spokeswoman Christine O'Brien said that investigators need a cause of death from the Montgomery County Medical Examiner's Office before moving forward with the case.
Cameron Kline, a spokesman for the District Attorney's Office, said prosecutors are also reviewing the case and will make a decision on further charges soon. - Aubrey Whelan