Teens Charged in Deadly Assault at Ohio Market

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In a tragic incident at a Columbus, Ohio Kroger store on December 6, 2023, three teens were arrested following the death of 53-year-old Donnie Smith

The suspects, Dionta Davon Hughes, 18, Jamarion Fredrae Evans-Bennett, 19, and 17-year-old Jayden Agee, face murder charges.

The conflict reportedly began inside the store, escalating to a physical confrontation outside. Security staff intervened, but the situation continued outside. Smith, found critically injured near the pharmacy drive-thru, was beaten, stomped, and kicked, later dying from his injuries on December 20, 2023.

Witnesses noted the teenagers’ apparent enjoyment during the assault, as they were seen laughing. They only stopped their attack after a passerby with a gun intervened.

A friend accompanying Smith claimed the suspects were instigating trouble.

The Columbus police, after investigating, apprehended the three teenagers. Photos of Hughes and Evans-Bennett, both legal adults, were released, and they are being held on $1 million bonds. Agee’s potential trial as an adult is pending a judicial decision. The ongoing investigation invites more information from the public.

Smith, who leaves behind three children, including a 15-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter, was lauded by Nicole Evans, his partner of 20 years as an exceptional father. His loss has deeply affected his family and community.

The incident has raised serious concerns about violence in public areas. Columbus Police are diligently working to piece together the incident’s details.

The Kroger Company, where the incident occurred, has yet to comment. The store’s involvement and response during the altercation are likely to become a focus as inquiries proceed.

The case also examines broader issues of youth violence and legal responses, particularly in the pending decision regarding the 17-year-old suspect’s trial as an adult, a factor that could alter the legal process.

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