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Beating victim dies
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Devon Morris, the 70-year-old Pembroke resident who was beaten while lying in his bed on June 8, died Friday.

Morris was reportedly moved to a hospice in Vidalia Thursday, but was hospitalized at Candler prior to that. Last week, Morris was reportedly hooked up to a narcotic drop due to brain injuries sustained in the June 8th attack. He was also suffering from pneumonia.

Pembroke police Chief Mark Crowe said three people entered and ransacked Morris’ home in the early morning hours of June 8th after breaking out the back window.

Morris reportedly was asleep when he was attacked and woke to find he was being beaten with objects lying around his bedroom, including a hammer and a fan.

No arrests have been made to date, but Morris implicated Bulloch County resident Donna Hodges as one of his attackers while at the scene.

Last week, Chief Crowe said he is seeking an indictment rather than an arrest warrant against Hodges because he was unable to conduct a coherent interview with Morris due to the poor condition he was in just prior to his death.

Crowe said Friday that Morris’s death could potentially raise the stakes on the impending charges in this incident.

"We’re going to demand an autopsy and wait on the results," Crowe said. "If it winds up being related to the attack in any way, then we may ask the GBI to step in. They have the resources to do more than we can."

After being attacked, Morris - who was on oxygen and did not own a telephone - reportedly walked a half block from his Main Street home to his friend Gabby Hall’s pet grooming shop.

Hall said Morris was a regular at the shop and a close friend. She said a lot of people in the city knew and loved Morris.

"He’s been fighting for his life for three months," Hall said. "It’s not right that such a gentle and giving man had to go through all that suffering and agony. Justice will be served. Even if the system doesn’t do it, the Lord will turn around and they’ll (Morris’s attackers) get there’s in the end."

Hall said she is both angry and saddened "everytime I walk into the shop – just knowing he won’t be coming back."

Hall said Morris did not have family in Pembroke, but he has siblings in other parts of the state.

Crowe said the investigation continues and is hopeful that all three of Morris’s attackers will be brought to justice.

Anyone with any information on this case is encouraged to call the Pembroke Police Department at 653-4414.

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