Watch CBS News

14-Year-Old Charged As Adult With 3rd-Degree Murder In Connection To Fatal Beating Of 73-Year-Old Man: Police

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- A 14-year-old boy who turned himself in to police Monday in connection with the beating death of a 73-year-old man in North Philadelphia has been charged as an adult with third-degree murder and criminal conspiracy. He lived just blocks from the attack.

Security video shows who police say is a teen boy holding a traffic cone winding back before he strikes an elderly man from behind.

Police say the boy in the video is 14-year-old Richard Jones. He turned himself in to authorities with his younger brother Monday. Jones is being charged as an adult with third-degree murder and conspiracy in connection with the victim's death.

A source tells Eyewitness News that 14-year-old Jones had his 10-year-old brother with him at the time of the incident in the early morning hours of June 24. Police confirmed that the brothers were questioned on Monday, but the 10-year-old was later released. Police haven't yet said why.

The attack happened June 24 around 2:30 a.m. on the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore Avenue. Surveillance video shows the group of four males and three females taunting and striking 73-year-old James Lambert with a traffic cone. Lambert died the next day from injuries to his head.

Jones' attorney asked the magistrate judge for leniency. The attorney says Jones just recently graduated middle school and cited that he did not have a prior criminal record or any school disciplinary actions, adding that some sort of altercation happened prior to what was seen on video released by police.

Family and friends of Jones refused to comment to Eyewitness News as they walked out of the Criminal Justice Center on Tuesday night moments after Jones appeared before a judge.

In court, Jones' attorney admitted her client threw a cone at Lambert, but that it hit the 73-year-old in the shoulder.

His attorney also claimed that it followed an altercation with the victim that was not seen on camera as the group of juveniles was leaving a rec center along the 2100 block of Cecil B. Moore after playing basketball. She also says a girl also seen in the video threw the cone that struck the victim in his head. Lambert died the day after the attack.

Jones's attorney did not answer Eyewitness News's questions, but in court, she told the judge her client had won a community service award, played football and worked as a summer camp teacher. She asked for him to be released to his family.

The judge refused and set bail at $750,000.

Jones is being held at a juvenile center until his preliminary hearing, which is scheduled for July 26.

Crime scene tape is still left behind where the attack happened before Lambert's life was taken from him and just across the street from a community garden where volunteers give back. They provide free food to this underserved neighborhood.

It's a much different scene than what happened nearby late last month.

"When I saw that video my jaw dropped, my heart sunk," Sanctuary Farm Executive Director Andrea Vettori said. "And you just have to wonder, why?"

Police sources tell Eyewitness News a girl that was involved in the attack is expected to turn herself in on Wednesday morning.

The city is offering a $20,000 reward for information that leads to an arrest and conviction in the case.

CBS3's Ross, DiMattei, Matt Petrillo and Alicia Roberts contributed to this report

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.