On Monday, three women pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter for the death of a homeless man in 2015. The violence was prompted after a 10-year-old boy came home to tell his mother Aleathea Gillard that a homeless man hit him and called him a racial slur.
Naturally, that angered Gillard. She and a few friends went looking for the man who she thought assaulted her son. They thought they found him outside an Olney, Pennsylvania gas station.
Gillard and two friends -- Kaisha Duggins and Shareena Joachim -- viciously beat 51-year-old Robert Barnes. The entire incident was caught on surveillance video. The footage shows Gillard beating Barnes with a broken rocking chair leg. Duggins hit him with a hammer. Three teenagers contributed to the beating. Gillard's 13-year-old son and her 12-year-old daughter, as well as a 14-year-old friend, helped out in the attack. One of the minors was injured by Mace sprayed by one of the women.
As a result of the horrendous beating, Barnes fell into a coma and died months later.
Gillard, 37; Duggins, 27; and Joachim, 26, all pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter, conspiracy, and possession of an instrument of crime, according to The Philly Inquirer. The three minors involved pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and conspiracy charges over two years ago. They were sentenced to juvenile residential-treatment facilities. The 10-year-old was never charged.
As if the story wasn’t tragic enough, evidence shows that Gillard’s 10-year-old son most likely lied about the Barnes’ attack on him. Assistant District Attorney Erica Rebstock revealed to the judge on Monday that the boy could be seen on surveillance video riding his bike past the gas station but that there doesn’t appear to be any physical or verbal interaction between the two.
At Monday’s hearing, Diane Barnes, sister of the victim, cried in court.
Afterward, she told The Philly Inquirer, “It’s a very emotional day today. It’s hard for me to look at their faces, the faces that beat my brother.”
In 2016, Christian Times posted a fake article with the video of the attack, claining it was footage of a homeless veteran being beaten to death by anti-Trump protesters.
[Photo: Philadelphia Police Department]