Few Details in Fatal, Alleged Assault of Mt. Ephraim Youth Hockey, Baseball Coach Oron Carl ‘Snook’ Beebe, Jr.


As friends and family of Carl Beebe, Jr. mourn a father, son, husband, and brother, questions still persist about the circumstances that surround the man’s death. A Collingswood teenager is being held in connection with the case.

By Matt Skoufalos | April 3, 2024

Mount Ephraim Walgreens. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

A little after 10 p.m. on March 23, 46-year-old Oron Carl Beebe, Jr. was allegedly assaulted in the parking lot of a Mount Ephraim Walgreens by a 16-year-old from Collingswood.

Beebe, Jr. sustained injuries in that encounter that later proved fatal, according to the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office (CCPO).

The case remains under investigation, and authorities have released few details, owing mostly to the juvenile status of the accused.

However, eyewitnesses confirm that both parties were seen at Bobby Ray’s Black Horse Tavern in Mount Ephraim just hours prior to the assault.

Black Horse Tavern owner Bobby Ray Harris said the mood that evening was largely upbeat.

“It was a good, calm night here,” Harris said. “Everybody’s tipping, eating food; people are enjoying the place.”

The pub was hosting a watch party for the NCAA Wrestling Championship Finals, and the room was packed, with every television tuned to the matches.

Coaches, parents, students, and alums from several South Jersey high-school wrestling programs were on hand to take in the action, starting around 7 p.m. A buffet had been laid out for the wrestlers, and a deejay kept the atmosphere lively.

The Beebes weren’t there to watch wrestling, however, and didn’t cross paths with the teen from Collingswood, Harris said.

Bobby Ray’s Black Horse Tavern. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

The tavern owner knew Beebe, Jr. went by his middle name, Carl, from prior visits; remembered him as a UPS driver whose wife, Jennifer, was a schoolteacher and “a sweetheart of a lady.”

He said he didn’t recognize the teenager accused in his death.

“They left several minutes apart, from what the bouncers told me,” Harris said.

“They had no interaction at all until they got to Walgreens.”

According to one patron who was there that evening, and who spoke on condition of anonymity, the watch party had drawn such a sizable crowd that, after filling the tavern lot, customers began parking at the Walgreens on the other side of Mount Ephraim Avenue.

That’s where the alleged assault occurred.

“Early on it was cool, but it got late, and some of the kids stuck around,” the patron said.

“All of a sudden, you see all of them get up at once and run out the door, like they got a message or something. We never saw them again after.”

The next thing that same individual recalled was hearing a woman screaming for someone to call 9-1-1. Mount Ephraim Police, which are headquartered just a few doors down the Black Horse Pike, “were there quick,” the patron said.

Harris said the fatal encounter is an outlier among anything he’s seen in all his years in the hospitality business.

“We’ve had more problems during an Eagles-Cowboys game,” he said.

The parking lots at Walgreens (left) and Bobby Ray’s Black Horse Tavern (right) in Mount Ephraim. Credit: Matt Skoufalos.

CCPO investigators allege that the juvenile punched Beebe, Jr. in the head, and that the man subsequently fell, striking his head on the pavement.

He was transported to Cooper University Hospital in Camden City in critical condition, and perished from his injuries eight days later, on March 31.

The teenager apparently did not remain at the scene to speak with authorities, as he was arrested in Cherry Hill two days later, by members of the Camden Division of the U.S. Marshals Service New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Task Force.

The marshals took the youth into custody on second-degree assault charges March 25. He was ordered detained at the Camden County Youth Correctional Facility, where he remains.

On April 1, the day after Beebe, Jr. died, the CCPO upgraded those charges to second-degree manslaughter, a charge that follows a death from a reckless assault. Adults convicted of such a charge face 10 to 20 years in prison, and fines of as much as $150,000.

Jennifer and Oron Carl “Snook” Beebe, Jr. were married for 21 years. Together, the couple had three children, Zachary, Brayden, and the late Oron Carl, III.

Oron Carl “Snook” Beebe Jr. Credit: Gardner Funeral Home.

His obituary remembers Beebe, Jr. as “a family man… [who] was never shy with hugs.”

A league darts player who enjoyed the shore, the Philadelphia Eagles, and yard games, he volunteered as a youth coach with Bellmawr Hockey, Mount Ephraim baseball, and Gloucester City Brawlers AAU baseball.

“Snook always called himself an ‘equal opportunist,’ who treated every single player on his teams like they were his own children,” the notice reads.

“He laughed with them, yelled with them, and celebrated with them at every moment.”

“Everyone who had the opportunity to have a beer with Snook walked away his family,” his loved ones wrote. “He was happiest watching his kids do what they love, playing hockey, baseball, and football.

“The happiness Snook brought us will forever be cherished by his family and friends.”

Beebe, Jr. will be laid to rest on Friday. The investigation into his death is active and ongoing. A crowdfunding campaign has been organized for the Beebe family, as has a meal train.

Those with information about the case are asked to contact CCPO Det. Felix Abreu (856-225-8414), or Mount Ephraim Det. Sgt. Kevin Sullivan (856-931-2225). Tips may also be sent to CAMDEN.TIPS.

Anyone charged with a crime is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law. An arrest is not a conviction.

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