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Man on trial for killing World War II vet on Veteran's Day

October 27, 2011 | 11:15 am

A trial is underway for a Huntington Beach man accused of fatally beating a World War II veteran during a robbery on Veterans Day in 2003, according to the Orange County district attorney's office.

Curtis James Hill, 29, is charged with one count of murder during a robbery and faces a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole if convicted.

Hill and John Kirk McKinney, also of Huntington Beach, are accused of entering 77-year-old Cecil Warren's parked van around 6 p.m. on Nov. 11, 2003, allegedly with the intention of stealing from it.

Warren was working as a handyman, cleaning the parking lot of a bank in Huntington Beach, when he noticed Hill and McKinney in his van.

Prosecutors said Hill and McKinney kicked Warren, hit him in the head, robbed him of his wallet and then fled, leaving him on the ground.

Warren, found bleeding about 30 minutes later by a pedestrian, gave a brief description of his attackers before losing consciousness and falling into a coma, according to prosecutors. He died in 2007 after four years in the coma.

Before Warren's death, Hill pleaded guilty to robbery and aggravated assault with sentencing enhancement for committing a crime against a vulnerable elder and was sentenced to nine years in prison. McKinney was found guilty of the same charges and sentenced to four years in prison.

Hill and McKinney were charged with murder after Warren died, according to the Huntington Beach Independent . McKinney is scheduled to be tried later.

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— Mona Shadia, Times Community News

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