Police: Witness' slaying unrelated to murder case

January 7, 2013 5:34:56 PM PST
Philadelphia police say a witness in a murder case was beaten to death Saturday night.

However, in an update Monday night, police confirm to Action News the motive of the homicide was domestic in nature and not related to the victim, 26-year-old Akeel Prout, being a witness to a past murder.

The deadly incident happened around 10:30 p.m. Saturday on the 500 block of North 55th Street.

A half-dozen men attacked Prout in the West Philadelphia neighborhood, punching and stomping him before robbing him and fleeing.

Prout witnessed the October 2011 homicide of a schoolteacher killed by a stray bullet. Prout initially identified the gunman as 19-year-old Daniel Shelley, but recanted at Shelley's preliminary hearing, testifying he did not know the defendant and had never seen him.

Prosecutors still plan to use Prout's initial statement at trial.

No arrests have been made.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.