MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR VETERANS DAY ROBBERY-MURDER OF WWII VETERAN


Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701

For Immediate Release
Case # 09CF1955






December 16, 2011

Susan Kang Schroeder
Chief of Staff
Office: 714-347-8408
Cell: 714-292-2718

Farrah Emami
Spokesperson
Office: 714-347-8405
Cell: 714-323-4486

MAN SENTENCED TO LIFE IN PRISON WITHOUT PAROLE FOR VETERANS DAY ROBBERY-MURDER

OF WWII VETERAN

*Defendant and co-defendant left victim in a coma for three years and were charged with murder after the victim’s death

SANTA ANA – A man was sentenced today to life in state prison without the possibility of parole for the beating-murder of a WWII veteran during a robbery on Veterans Day. The victim was left in a coma for over three years until he died as a direct result of his injuries sustained in the 2003 attack. Curtis James Hill, 29, Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 1, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery.

 

Co-defendant John Kirk McKinney, 29, Huntington Beach, is charged with one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery and faces a sentence of life in state prison without the possibility of parole if convicted. McKinney faces a jury trial Feb. 27, 2011, in Department C-41, Central Justice Center, Santa Ana.

 

The following was argued by the People during the trial against Hill. McKinney is accused of committing the following crimes:

 

At approximately 6:00 a.m. on Nov. 11, 2003, McKinney and Hill entered the parked van of 77-year-old Cecil Warren, a WWII veteran, with the intention of stealing items from inside. The victim, who was working as a handyman cleaning the Huntington Beach bank parking lot where his van was parked, noticed the defendants in his van. When Warren asked Hill and McKinney what they were doing, the defendants attacked the victim. The defendants hit and kicked Warren in the head, robbed him of his wallet, and left the victim on the ground before fleeing the scene.

 

Approximately 30 minutes later, a pedestrian found Warren bleeding and moaning on the ground in the parking lot and called 911. The victim gave police a brief description of the two defendants before losing consciousness. Warren was transported to the hospital, where he spent the next three and a half years in a coma.

 

For this crime, Hill pleaded guilty and was sentenced Oct. 10, 2006,  to nine years in state prison for one felony count of second degree robbery, one felony count of aggravated assault, and admitted to sentencing enhancements for great bodily injury to an elder and committing a crime against a vulnerable victim (Case #03WF2996).

 

McKinney was found guilty by a jury Nov. 15, 2006, of one felony count of second degree robbery and one felony count of aggravated assault. The sentencing enhancement for committing a crime against a vulnerable victim was found true (Case #03WF2996). He was sentenced on Feb. 2, 2007, to four years in state prison.

 

After spending more than three and a half years on life support in a coma,