Residents of Gainesville homeless camp describe feeling ‘hollow’ after death of friend and leader

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An autopsy performed Thursday, October 21, concluded that Hines’ death was a homicide, police said. On Saturday, October 22, a newcomer to the encampment, Dexter Bernard Pulliam, 51, was charged with mean murder and held in the Hall County Jail.

According to the warrant, Pulliam hit Hines on the right side of the head with a sharp object.

Pulliam was named a suspect after interviews and analysis of forensic evidence, police said. Pulliam’s defense attorney Larry Duttweiler did not return a request for comment.

Claudia Miranda, owner of the nearby Taqueria El Rey, called 911 for Hines after someone from the camp found him lying near the train tracks. Miranda said she had known Hines for 15 years and described him as a sweet and special man who also had a stubborn side.

Every morning, Hines came to the restaurant to recharge his phone. Eager to help Miranda, he took the restaurant tables without hesitation.

More than 30 people attended a memorial on Sunday, October 24, near where Hines had died six days earlier.

Some camp residents were still overcome with emotion on Monday, October 25, when asked about Hines. They described the man as both a father figure and a camp general.


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