Police: Woman Killed Man Over Spare Change
Bond Set At $500,000
POSTED: 7:56 am EDT August 8, 2007
UPDATED: 6:56 pm EDT August 8, 2007
CINCINNATI -- Police say a man was shot to death Monday night over a quarter.
Investigators said late Monday that they believe that Donald Francis was looking for spare change from passersby when he approached Geraldine Beasley in the parking lot of a gas station at Eighth and Linn streets.
Police said Beasley, 62, became angry with Francis, pulled out a gun and shot him.
"He asked her for a quarter," said Chief Tom Streicher. "That's apparently all there was to it."
Francis, 44, died in the gas station parking lot a few steps away.
“This crime is a tragedy and absolutely appalling,” said Georgine Getty, Executive Director of the Greater Cincinnati Coalition for the Homeless, in a news release. “Unfortunately it’s all too common that homeless people are the victims of crime.”
Getty said that Francis' death was a hate crime, and homeless activists said the shooting is part of a nationwide trend.
“Crimes against homeless people occur more often than we think,” said Andy Freeze of the Homeless Coalition. “They go unreported because people are afraid to report them.”
Beasley appeared in court on Wednesday, where she was arraigned on a murder charge and ordered held on $500,000 bond.
She had no previous criminal record, and her attorney told the judge Beasley had mental health issues to be addressed.
A homeless man who calls himself “Redcorn” said Francis used an aggressive style to ask for money.
“I know that's his style, all the way," Redcorn told News 5. "I mean, like pushing on people and doing this and doing that, man.”
Redcorn said he holds a handwritten sign to bring in about $30 per day panhandling downtown, and he’s not surprised Francis was killed.
“If he's messing with a 62-year-old woman man then he deserved what he got,” Redcorn said.
Others are a bit less severe.
“She should have just walked away just walked away like a lot of people do,” said area woman Bonnie Wright. “Some people give them money, some people don't. Some people walk away (and) that's what she should have (done).”
Aggressive Panhandling To Blame, Homeless Man Says
Statement From Greater Cincinnati Coalition For The Homeless