(NationalUSNews.com) — Authorities in Ohio charged three teenagers with murder after a grown man died from injuries he sustained from an attack allegedly carried out by the teens. The incident resulting in the victim’s death occurred outside of a Kroger in Columbus, Ohio, and involved multiple teenage suspects ranging from 17 to 19 years old. All but one of the alleged attackers are being charged as adults and could spend the rest of their lives in prison for the gruesome murder.
According to prosecutors, Jamarion Evans-Bennett and Dionta Hughes attacked the victim on the evening of December 6th with the help of an undisclosed 17-year-old accomplice. The teens allegedly had a physical altercation with Kroger shoppers before being kicked out of the grocery store by Kroger security, where they waited for 53-year-old Donald Smith, Jr. After Smith left the store, the three teens began assaulting him, according to prosecutors.
Witnesses claim that the three teenagers laughed and joked while attacking Smith, who was on the ground and unable to move. The attackers allegedly kicked, punched, and stomped on Smith during the attack. Smith received severe injuries from the attack and was bleeding from his head once authorities arrived to transport him to a medical facility. The teens fled the scene and ran across the store parking lot once an armed witness approached them to intervene.
The attack left Smith in critical condition, causing the police to investigate the incident as a felonious assault case. According to a GoFundMe, started by Smith’s wife, Nicole Evans, Smith required brain surgery after the attack. Evans also claims that Smith didn’t have any insurance, leaving his family in need of financial assistance to pay for the funeral. Smith was the father of two children and a grandfather to one child, and he died shortly before the Christmas holiday. Smith’s family said he loved sports, race cars, and softball. Following Smith’s death, authorities began investigating the assault as a murder case.
Authorities arrested the two named attackers two days after Smith’s death on December 18th, charging them with murder. The 17-year-old accomplice was arrested the same day and will likely be charged as an adult in the coming days. The alleged attackers are currently co-defendants in the murder case and will stand trial together if they remain co-defendants moving forward.
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