Chicago Man Charged in Death of Beloved Elderly Barber

Samuel Higgins
WGN News Screenshot
Samuel Higgins
WGN News Screenshot

A 29-year-old Chicago man with a long felony rap sheet has been charged in the death of a popular 88-year-old barber, who was known as a “pillar” of his South Side community, the Chicago Tribune reports.


Samuel Higgins was looking to score some money fast, or "hit a lick," when he and a friend spotted Arthur Hearn, who was waited at a bus stop in late September, the Tribune says. He was approached by Higgins, who was dressed in women’s clothing, and knocked to the ground, according to the report. While Hearn was down, Higgins reportedly rummaged through his pockets, prosecutors said Saturday as Higgins appeared in court on murder and robbery charges, according to the Tribune.

Higgins ran after a passerby flagged down a police car. Hearn was taken to John H. Stroger Hospital in critical condition with head trauma and died three days later, on Sept. 28, the Tribune reports. The Cook County medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide.

Higgins was arrested just days later after he bragged about the robbery, prosecutors said. A man with him has not been arrested. Higgins has six prior felony convictions, including 2010 and 2011 prostitution felony cases, the Tribune says, quoting Assistant State’s Attorney Alexandra Molesky. Higgins also has two felony convictions for forgery and additional felony convictions for identity theft, with 11 more misdemeanor convictions.

Hearn’s family members said he will be missed. He was on his way to work at Farrell’s Barber Shop at the time of the attack.

"My dad was a pillar in the community and a mentor to so many," Hearn's daughter Rachell Kitchen told the Tribune. "It breaks my heart to know that hundreds of people whose lives he's touched will no longer have him."

Read more at the Chicago Tribune.