Several teenagers have turned themselves in to police in Pennsylvania in connection to the deadly beating of an elderly man with a traffic cone.
Around 2:30 a.m. on June 24, James Lambert Jr. was crossing a street in Philadelphia when a group of juveniles surrounded him and began taunting him before several struck him with the cone, surveillance video released by police shows.
The 73-year-old victim fell to the ground, suffering blunt force trauma to the head, and he died from his injuries the following day.
His death was ruled a homicide.
On July 11, over two weeks after the attack, Richard Jones, 14, and his 10-year-old brother turned themselves in to police, WTXF-TV reported.
Authorities said Jones was first to hit Lambert, and the teen, who was charged as an adult, faces third-degree criminal conspiracy and murder charges, while his younger sibling was released without charges.
On June 13, two girls, age 13 and 14, also surrendered to police, and the older female teenager likely will also be charged with third-degree murder and conspiracy, WTXF-TV reported, citing the District Attorney's Office.
Investigators said the 14-year-old suspect allegedly hit Jones at least two times with the cone.
Donte Mills, an attorney for the younger girl, claimed authorities released his client after determining she was not responsible for Lambert’s death.
“She took a stand in that moment, and in fact, tried to push people away,” Mills said, claiming the child called 911 and waited for help to arrive. “She tried to stop them from attacking Mr. Lambert.”
“We shouldn't lump everybody together and say these were all bad kids or these were all children who took it too far,” he said.
Following the incident, Lambert’s niece, Tania Stephens, told WTXF-TV of the victim: “He’s walked that path for 60, 70 years of his life, and for his life to be snuffed out like that, it’s just unbelievable.”
“Where were the parents?” she asked.