PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) — Philadelphia police say a witness in a murder case was beaten to death Saturday night in West Philadelphia.

Police say a half-dozen men attacked 26-year-old Akeel Prout around 10 p.m. along the 500 block of North 55th Street, punching and stomping him before robbing him and fleeing.

Prout witnessed the October 2011 homicide of a schoolteacher killed by a stray bullet. Prout initially identified the gunman as 19-year-old Daniel Shelley, but recanted at Shelley’s preliminary hearing, testifying he did not know the defendant and had never seen him.

Prosecutors still plan to use Prout’s initial statement at trial.

It’s not clear if Prout’s death is related to his testimony in the 2011 case.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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