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-- Megan Garvey and Anthony Pesce

Dispatch: Young mother dies after a punch to the face

July 6, 2009 | 10:28 pm

Shortly after 9 a.m. on Tuesday, June 9, Lennox sheriff's deputies received a 911 call that a person had collapsed and was not breathing at a residence in the 1100 block of 91st Street in unincorporated Los Angeles County.

When authorities arrived at the home, they found Ashley Hassan, a 23-year-old black female, on the floor. Her boyfriend, Derrick Hill, a 22-year-old black male, was giving her CPR. Paramedics determined that Hassan was in full cardiac arrest and took her to Centinela Hospital, where she was later pronounced dead.

Witnesses, including the couple’s 3-year-old-daughter, told deputies that Hill had punched Hassan in the face with a closed fist.

Later that morning, authorities arrested Hill in connection with Hassan’s death. They believe that Hill’s punch triggered her cardiac arrest and untimely death.

Los Angeles County coroner’s officials have not yet determined a cause of death. Hassan’s autopsy is deferred while her medical history is reviewed and further tests are done. Results will not be released for another 6 to 8 weeks, coroner’s officials said.

Hill was initially scheduled to enter his plea on charges of murder at Inglewood Municipal Court on June 24.

Hill listened in court as Commissioner John R. Johnson state the charges against him. He shook his head when bail was set to $1 million. At the appearance, Hill’s arraignment was moved to July 13 to give his defense more time to review the case.

When asked for a statement, his public defender, Michael R. Powell, called Hassan’s death a case with “extraordinary circumstances.” Powell said he was waiting for the coroner to determine her cause of death.

According to court records, Hill was arrested in 2006 on suspicion of domestic violence against Hassan. Charges were filed. However Hassan did not provide testimony and the charges were dismissed, according to Sgt. Barry Hall of the sheriff's Homicide Bureau.

Currently the couple’s daughter is in the care of a close relative of Hassan.

-- Sarah Ardalani 

The comments to this entry are closed.

Comments (10)

Wow!!!what a tragedy?I'm sitting here reading this and wondering that it must be really a thin line between love and hate.May she rest in peace.G-d bless the family.

It is a tragedy and he had hit her before and was arrested for it and they said the charges were dismissed because she did not or would not testify. Why did she put up with his abuse? She's dead and he is in jail for murder. The real victim now is the kid left behind with no mother and father at this point.


This incident is an eye opener for all. When we are in abusive relationships it's sometimes hard to break lose, some womens their love for their mate is strong in belief that the abuse will stop, their are men who are abused by women and it's unhealthy for a man to have to endure such. This child has now been left without both parents and if around when this occured will hold a vivid memory of this incident. There is help out there for all in abusesive realtionships but it's up to the person to want to except it. There are outsiders who say "girl i wouldnt put up with that" or "man get away from her" but we have to remember we are not in their shoes. We can provide a listening ear, moral support if possible but is up to that person to get tired, seek help and move on before incidents like this happen. To the family my condolences go out to you all. God bless this innocent child who is now the one suffering from it all. let us all look at this as an eye opener.

Another sad case of a woman staying with a man who beat her once or twice before, but she refuse to press charges against him, thinking he wouldn't beat her again. If a man hit you one time, he's most likely to hit and beat you again.

A formervictim

OMG you can die from a punch to the face......this is just so sad especially the little girl who saw the whole thing what a shame....

this is a very touchy situation. my prayers go out to both families, and most of all to the child that is left behind. abusive relationships are very common and swept under the rug. especially when the two involved love each other, but dont know how to let go of each other before things like this happen. im sure that this was not intentional, especially with their child being present. this topic is so touchy to me because i am a child who was a victim of this situation. and this is where family comes into play at. my mothers family still allowed me to communicate with my fathers family and my father also. they never tried to put things in my head about my father and raised me to have a forgiving heart. i love my father dearly and i know that he would never intentionally take my mother away from me. we have established a bond that no human can break and i respect him for not running away from me. no one is perfect and we all have to answer to GOD for our mistakes. so hopefully the family will do their best to raise the child and put their issues aside. and hopefully the child will be able to have have a relationship with her father, because believe it or not, he is all that she has left, no matter where he is at..



Where I come from, a man is taught at a very early age that you never, ever, strike a woman for any reason. I guess someone neglected to teach Mr. Hill that particular lesson. Tragic.

This is a tragedy that could have possibly been avoided.

People, please act!

If you know a woman that is being abused - CALL THE AUTHORITIES AND REPORT THE ABUSER. You can do so anonymously, just give the authorities enough information to take the abuser into custody.

In too many cases an abused woman subjected to continual abuse by her mate will not fight for herself, or even worse, for her kids, if any.

I had a dear friend die at the hands of an abuser, but I was too young and too uninformed to know that I could do something about it.

Times have changed - do something, please please please.


About the Reporters
The Homicide Report is compiled using information from the Los Angeles County coroner's office, local law enforcement agencies and the Los Angeles Times. It is written by Times staff writers.

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