Melbourne High School hosts vigil for murdered graduate, football alum

Police say Greg Barr shot Andre Hutchinas over spilled beer at party

MELBOURNE, Fla. – A vigil was held Thursday night for 19-year-old Andre Hutchinas, he was murdered in a fight over spilled beer, according to West Melbourne police.

More than a hundred people showed up at the vigil at Melbourne High School.

Defense attorney Greg Eisenmenger said Gregory Barr, 26, went from walking on his own and talking to police when he was arrested Friday night to appearing in a wheelchair three days later in court as the result of a brain injury.

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“Absolutely, he’s not competent to stand trial right now,” Eisenmenger said Thursday before requesting Judge Thomas Brown scheduled a competency hearing for Barr.

The hearing was scheduled for Tuesday, according to court documents.

Eisenmenger argued his client was the person acting in self-defense when West Melbourne police said he shot Hutchinas who tried calming down Barr and another man who were fighting over a spilled beer at the bonfire on Columbia Lane attended by as many as 100 teens and young adults.

Police said before shooting Hutchinas, Barr pulled a knife on the 19-year-old and the other man.

The Melbourne High graduate punched Barr before the fatal shot, according to police.

Head football coach David Kintigh said Hutchinas was thinking about the safety of others.

“The unfortunate circumstances of him defending somebody else is to his character,” Kintigh said. “That’s the way he seemed and was always looking out for his teammates.”

Kintigh described Hutchinas as a great player and a leader.

“The thing about Dre was he was just so polite and nice,” he said.

And as for Barr, Eisenmenger said the second-degree murder suspect is currently in the hospital. There is a competency hearing scheduled for Barr for July 6.

“I’m going to attempt to have the court release him from custody so that his family can get him proper medical care,” Eisenmenger said.

The victim’s mom called him a hero.

“Just to step in when others wouldn’t. He stepped up and tried to deescalate the situation, but that’s how he was always,” Pollock said.

“You don’t see Andre sad. You always see Andre with a smile,” the victim’s grandmother Janie Pollock said.

“I feel better because I know he’s at peace. That was my brother for real,” the victim’s best friend Gerrard Thomas said.

The family says Hutchinas will be laid to rest this Saturday here Melbourne.


About the Author:

James joined News 6 in March 2016 as the Brevard County Reporter. His arrival was the realization of a three-year effort to return to the state where his career began. James is from Pittsburgh, PA and graduated from Penn State in 2009 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism.