Three teenagers from Ohio have been charged with murder after a man died from head injuries sustained during an attack outside a Kroger supermarket in Columbus. Jamarion Fredrae Evans-Bennett, 19, Dionta Davon Hughes, 18, and a 17-year-old male allegedly fought with shoppers inside the store, and when security asked them to leave, they waited outside for 53-year-old Donald “Donnie” Smith, Jr., to exit and attacked him. The defendants reportedly stomped on, kicked, and punched Smith while laughing and enjoying themselves. They fled when an armed witness intervened.
The chilling event occurred on December 6. Smith was left unconscious and bleeding from the head. He underwent brain surgery but did not survive. A GoFundMe campaign was set up to help cover his funeral costs and support his partner and two children. Smith did not have insurance, and his death has devastated his family and friends, who remember him as a loving father and sports enthusiast.
The Affidavit of Probable Cause states: “When the victim was on the ground, the suspects continued to punch, kick, and stomp on the victim. The victim was unconscious and bleeding from the head area.”
Evans and Hughes were arrested on Wednesday and had arraignments scheduled for Thursday morning. The status of the 17-year-old suspect remains unclear. The three teens currently face murder charges.
This senseless act of violence outside the Kroger supermarket has shocked the community. Smith’s loved ones are grappling with the loss of a beloved family member just one week before Christmas. The entire incident unfolded in public view, with the defendants allegedly attacking Smith while exhibiting disturbing enjoyment.
An investigation into the case is being conducted by the Columbus Police Department. Statements are being taken from witnesses who reported the brutal assault, and an armed individual stepped in to stop the attack. The defendants’ arraignments are scheduled for Thursday morning in Franklin County court. The court records indicate that Evans-Bennett and Hughes have been arrested, but it’s unclear whether the 17-year-old will face adult charges. The community awaits further updates as the legal process moves forward.