Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

3 women to face murder hearing in homeless man's death

3 juveniles are also expected to be charged in the death of Robert Barnes, who died months after being attacked at a gas station.

Joachim (left), Gillard (center), Duggins (right)
Joachim (left), Gillard (center), Duggins (right)Read moreHandout

THREE WOMEN who faced attempted-murder charges in the April gas-station beating of a homeless man in Olney have now been charged with murder.

Aleathea Gillard, 34; Shareena Joachim, 24; and Kaisha Duggins, 24, face a Dec. 30 preliminary hearing on murder charges in the death of Robert Barnes.

Barnes, 51, died Nov. 25 at Abington Hospital-Jefferson Health.

Three juveniles who participated in the attack are also expected to be charged as adults with murder, Brian Zarallo, an assistant chief in the Philadelphia District Attorney's homicide unit, said yesterday.

Zarallo said he could not yet release the names of the three juveniles since they have not yet been charged with murder. The three remain in juvenile residential-treatment facilities.

It was about 6:40 p.m. April 7 when Barnes was beaten outside a Sunoco gas station on 5th Street near Somerville Avenue. The assault - caught on video - landed him in a coma.

Earlier that day, Gillard's 10-year-old son - who, like Barnes, was earning some cash pumping gas at the station - got into an argument with Barnes. On the way home, the boy fell off his bike and blamed his injury on Barnes, claiming the man hit him.

Evidence showed the boy lied.

But based on that claim, Gillard, who lived about 1 1/2 blocks from the gas station, allegedly got into her minivan with other people who were in her home at the time and went to the gas station seeking revenge.

Gillard allegedly pummeled Barnes in the head with a piece of wood from a broken rocking chair. Duggins allegedly hit him in the head, legs and feet with a hammer. Joachim allegedly tried to spray him with Mace, but instead accidentally sprayed Gillard's then-13-year-old son.

The 13-year-old boy; Gillard's then-12-year-old daughter; and a 14-year-old male friend participated in the attack. In June, they pleaded guilty before a Family Court judge to charges of aggravated assault and conspiracy.


On Twitter: @julieshawphilly