Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long Thursday announced the death of Robert Willhite, 82, of Swedeborg. Willhite died early Thursday morning at a hospital in Columbia, where he had been treated since the beating on July 25.
Six people have already been charged with robbery, assault, and burglary-related charges in connection with the incident. Long says prosecutors will consider additional charges after receiving autopsy results.
Deputies were called to Willhite's home on Highway T near Swedeborg on July 25 and found Willhite severely beaten. His home had been ransacked with collectible coins and guns stolen.
According to a probable cause statement, deputies were approached on July 28 by Jessie and Cheryl Berry who said their daughter, Jessica Berry, came home with several silver coins.
When her parents confronted her about the coins, Berry told them “something bad had happened,” according to a probable cause statement. Berry continued to tell her parents that her, along with a man, were lookouts during the time Willhite’s home was robbed.
Berry's arrest led to charges against her and five others.
According to the Pulaski County Circuit Court, Vernon Dale Parker, 43, of Fulton, and Shawn A. Green, 33, of Waynesville face numerous charges and are jailed on $1 million cash-only bond each for the incident. Thomas Ernest York Jr., 34, of St. Robert, Roby Sapere, 57, of Richland, Jessica Anne Berry, 24, of Dixon and Melissa A. Winkle, 34, of Crocker, are also charged.
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