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Porn actor suspected of murder jumps off cliff, dies after daylong standoff with police [Updated]

June 5, 2010 |  7:15 pm

A porn actor suspected of fatally stabbing a former co-worker and wounding two others during a violent rampage died Saturday after he jumped off a cliff following a dramatic, daylong standoff with police in which he threatened to kill himself with a samurai sword.

Stephen Clancy Hill, 34, spent about eight hours on the edge of a rocky cliff in West Hills surrounded by police and talking to crisis negotiators. 

[Updated, 8:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that the incident occurred in Canoga Park.] 

With dusk approaching and Hill continuing to threaten to kill himself, members of the Los Angeles Police Department's elite SWAT unit tried to subdue and apprehend him, using some sort of less-than-lethal weapon, said Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese, who oversaw the incident. 

Seated on the cliff’s edge, Hill threw himself over at 5:30 p.m. and suffered fatal head injuries from the roughly 50-foot fall, authorities said.

Albanese declined to discuss the specifics of the weapon used and the plan that had been devised to capture Hill.

“He was bent on taking his own life,” Albanese said. “It’s very unfortunate.  We wanted this to end a different way.”

The long standoff began about 9:30 a.m. when a caller alerted police after spotting Hill’s blue 1998 Toyota RAV4 in the 8800 block of Azul Drive, said LAPD Officer Bruce Borihahn.

Officers called the SWAT team and negotiators after Hill made his way up the cliff, where he stood with a sword in hand, pointing it at his chest, Borihahn said. It was not known whether the sword also was the murder weapon used in Tuesday's attack. 

Hill had been at large since he allegedly used a samurai sword to attack several employees at Ultima DVD Inc., a video distribution facility in Van Nuys where he did production work and apparently lived, police and prosecutors said.

Investigators said Hill allegedly attacked one man in a back room of the business, and then turned toward two colleagues who had rushed over to help the man, swinging the weapon repeatedly and gashing both of them. 

The three victims were rushed to Northridge Hospital Medical Center, where Herbert Hin Wong, 30, of Canoga Park was pronounced dead, police said. A second man was treated and released, while the third victim remains in the hospital, Borihahn said.

Wong, a native of China, acted in adult films under the name Tom Dong and appeared with the accused killer in several films.

Investigators are trying to determine if Hill may have been angry with his colleagues after being informed that he was being fired from his job and evicted from his living quarters.

Hill, of Riverdale, Md., was charged Friday with one count of murder and five counts of attempted murder in connection with Tuesday’s attack, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

Hill, who performed under the name Steve Driver, had a previous conviction for assault with a firearm involving an instructor on a Maryland college campus in 1998, according to sources familiar with the investigation.

He had threatened a teaching assistant with a handgun if he did not get an A in a class, according to a 1999 article in the Washington Post about the incident.

Hill allegedly told the instructor he was “a mobster and would dismember the instructor's body if he didn't get the grade.” During the trial, Hill testified that he threatened to kill the instructor after the teacher requested oral sex, which the instructor denied, according to the article.

-- Joel Rubin and Ruben Vives

Photo: Stephen Clancy Hill. Credit: LAPD