Father of 3 killed in grocery store beating, 3 teens arrested


Three teenagers have been arrested for beating an Ohio father of three to death. 

Columbus police say the incident happened at 7 p.m. on Dec. 6. The three young men allegedly engaged the victim, 53-year-old Donnie Smith, inside a Kroger grocery store, WSXY-TV reported.

The suspects were asked to leave by security after getting into an altercation with patrons inside the store, and then the fight continued outside, police said. Smith was taken to a hospital in critical condition, where he later died. 

One of the friends who was with Smith at the time told WSXY the group was “trying to pick on whoever they could.”

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Jamarion Evans-Bennett, 19, is one of three suspects police say beat a father of three to death. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

Dionta Hughes

Dionta Hughes, 18, and two others allegedly got into an altercation with 53-year-old victim Donnie Smith at a Kroger on Dec. 6, 2023, in Columbus, Ohio. (Franklin County Sheriff’s Office)

Charging documents obtained by the local ABC station say Smith was “unconscious and bleeding from the head due to the beating” and that the group was “laughing and enjoying themselves” while assaulting him. 

Smith died two weeks after the assault, the media outlet reported. 

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Columbus police car

Columbus police charged three teenagers in the brutal beating that killed 53-year-old Donnie Smith. (Columbus Division of Police)

The suspects left the scene in a red vehicle, cops said. 

Police did not say how homicide detectives got on their trail, but they did say they arrested 18-year-old Dionta Hughes, 19-year-old Jamarion Evans-Bennett and 17-year-old Jayden Agee on murder charges

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Photos of Hughes and Evans-Bennett were released, but not Agee since he is a minor. 

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to contact Columbus police. 



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