Two Charged in Killing of Counselor Due in Court

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - Two 18-year-old men are scheduled to make their initial court appearances today in connection with the weekend killing of a counselor who was trying to break up a fight at the residential youth facility where he worked in the Windsor Hills area.

Nyier Mason and Keith Lewis are set to be arraigned Wednesday at the Airport Branch Courthouse on a murder charge, according to Ricardo Santiago of the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.

Deputies were called about 9:50 p.m. Saturday to 5300 Angeles Vista Blvd. in the unincorporated Windsor Hills area, the site of Wayfinder Family Services, a nonprofit organization that provides support services to children, adults and families, said Deputy Joana Warren of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

They found 25-year-old David Mcknight-Hillman -- who was responsible for “the day-to-day care of the residents'' at Wayfinder -- suffering from blunt force trauma injuries, Warren said.

Mcknight-Hillman was taken to a hospital, where he died, she said.

Investigators determined that Mcknight-Hillman was attempting to break up a fight when he was assaulted by seven people -- two 18-year-olds and five juveniles, according to Warren.

All but one of the juvenile suspects, who had yet to be found, were arrested by Monday, she said. The fifth juvenile was taken into custody in Buena Park on Tuesday.

The status of any criminal charges against the four juveniles in custody was not immediately available.

A directive issued shortly after new District Attorney George Gascon was sworn into office last month calls for prosecutors to “immediately end the practice of sending youth to the adult court system.''

Photo: Getty Images

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