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Pictured Above: Curtis James Hill. Source: Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

In 2003, Curtis James Hill attempted to rob Cecil Warren, a handyman that was cleaning a bank parking lot. Hill and John Kirk McKinney kicked Warren in the head, robbed him of his wallet and left him in the parking lot to die. Warren was beaten so badly that he was in a coma for three years. In 2007, Warren, a World War II veteran, was taken of life support and died. Hill and McKinney were charged with murder. Today, Hill was convicted of murder and now faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

California Penal Code section 187 defines murder as the unlawful killing of a human being with malice aforethought. If a person commits a serious felony, like robbery, that results in a murder of another human being, they are charged with felony murder.  Hill beat and then robbed Warren and even though Warren did not die right away, the felony committed by Hill caused the death of Warren. 

A common defense to murder is self defense. Self defense is an effective defense if a person killed another because they felt that they were in imminent danger of being killed or suffering great bodily injury or being raped, maimed, robbed, or the victim of some other forcible and atrocious crime. If you are charged with murder, contact an experienced criminal defense attorney right away to assist you in fighting your charges or reducing your sentence.

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