Belle Glade, FL — Israel Hester was caught in the middle of a deadly love triangle. He was beaten viciously, his face crushed and brain starved of precious oxygen. Hester later died from his injuries.
Newly released documents show that 48-year-old Hester died in a hospice May 26. His alleged attacker faces a charge of second-degree murder.
According to authorities, Hester’s attacker, identified as Vincent Cleatance Poole, pummeled Hester with a large rock after Hester had tossed his wife’s mattresses of the the second floor of the apartment building they were living in. Poole, who, according to reports, carried on a romantic relationship with Hester’s wife, began pounding Hester with his fists until he found a rock.
When a deputy found Hester on May 6, he was lying in a puddle of blood with no pulse. The officer attempted to revive him for three before Palm Beach County Fire Rescue got to the scene. A medical helicopter then transported him to a local hospital. He had to be resuscitated in the helicopter, edited police reports state.
He never recuperated. By May 22, hospital employees recommended he be taken to a hospice, where he later died.
On Oct. 18, the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office reported to officials that Hester’s death was determined a homicide. He died as a result of blunt force injuries to his head, fractures in his face, a fractured skull, and a brain hemorrhage.
Authorities say ample evidence exists to rule Hester’s killing premeditated.
Witnesses reported that Poole kept beating Hester even after he fell to the ground, and stomped on his head. Numerous easily identified Poole as the culprit,
records state, although some did not identify themselves for fear of retaliation. Their descriptions painted a ruthless beating.
“He said he saw Vincent pick up something large, like a brick, and hit the victim with it. He said Vincent hit the victim several more times and noticed that the victim wasn’t fighting back,” a deputy wrote of one witness. Of another witness, he wrote, “He said the victim was unconscious and he had to yell at Vincent to stop striking the victim.”
Both men lived in the same apartment complex where the assault took place.
After the incident, Poole fled from a deputy who came towards him. Officers used a K-9 and called in a helicopter to search for Poole, who ended up turning himself in.
Poole, who is deaf, is in the custody of the Palm Beach County Jail. His next court appearance is on Nov. 20 for motion hearings.
The Palm Beach Post’s homicide tracker indicates Hester is one of 84 killed this year.