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Man faces murder charge after victim from Williams Park beating dies

ST. PETERSBURG — A homeless man who police say robbed and severely beat a fellow transient a week ago now faces a murder charge after the victim died Friday.

Police said Watson L. Haynes III, 39, the son of a well-known local community activist, attacked Charles Roach, 57, last Saturday morning at Williams Park.

Emergency responders rushed Roach to Bayfront Medical Center. He died of his injuries about 2:15 a.m. Friday, police said.

Witnesses said Haynes was the man who'd beaten Roach. They also said he took the older man's backpack. Police arrested Haynes later that day. He remains in the Pinellas County Jail without bail on a second-degree murder charge.

Detectives are still investigating what prompted the attack.

Haynes' father, Pinellas County Urban League president Watson Haynes II, said his son has battled bipolar disorder and other mental health problems for most his life.

The younger Haynes has a string of arrests, ranging from trespassing to battery, records show.

Man faces murder charge after victim from Williams Park beating dies 06/29/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012 11:32am]
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