Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Ex-Marine who survived three tours in Iraq is slain while installing cable TV in Victorville

November 10, 2009 |  4:23 pm

A former U.S. Marine who survived several tours of duty in Iraq and a knife attack at his Phelan home a few months ago was violently beaten to death with a hammer while installing cable at a Victorville home, authorities said. A relative of the homeowners has been arrested in the attack.

Trevor Neiman, 25, a Charter Communications Cable installer, was found beaten and bloody by San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputies who responded to the home shortly after 4:30 p.m. Monday.

While Neiman was working on the cable at the home in the 15200 block of  San Jose Drive, a man attacked and repeatedly beat him with a small hammer, authorities said. 

"He was doing a cable installation. There was no exchange of words. There was nothing that occurred before the unprovoked attack," said Jody Miller, a San Bernardino County sheriff’s spokeswoman.

Miller said witnesses told investigators there was no indication of what set off the attack. Paramedics rushed Neiman to Victor Valley Community Hospital, where he died of his injuries.

After the attack, investigators say, the suspect fled the home.

Relatives and other witnesses quickly identified Johnny Acosta, 45, as being at the home at the time of the beating. The family had moved in just days before. While detectives were searching for Acosta, he contacted the San Bernardino County sheriff’s dispatch center, gave his location and surrendered to detectives without a struggle.

Costa, of Hesperia, was booked on suspicion of murder and is being held without bail at West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga. He is due to appear in a Victorville court Thursday.

Miller says the motive for the attack was unclear.

Just five months ago, Neiman, an athletic, 6-foot-4 dirt bike and VW Beetle fanatic, survived a knife attack at his Phelan home during a party, Miller said.

That attack left him with several stab wounds, a collapsed lung and broken ribs. On his MySpace page, Neiman sarcastically wrote: "Never bring your fist to a knife fight."

Several pictures on his photo pages documented his head, body and legs wounds. Three people were arrested on suspicion of attempted murder in the attack.

Neiman, who was married, served with the Marine Corps 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines India Company. He served in the corps from October 2003 to February 2008, with three tours in Iraq. His MySpace page honors some of his comrades who were killed in Iraq.

-- Richard Winton and Nicole Santa Cruz