Fatally Beaten Counselor's Son Sues Los Angeles County, Group Home

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - The father of a 25-year-old counselor at a Windsor Hills group home is suing Los Angeles County after teenage residents of the facility allegedly pummeled his son to death there in 2021.

David Hillman III, the father of David McKnight-Hillman, brought the suit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court, also naming as a defendant the group home, Wayfinder Family Services, and Bobby Cagle, then the head of the Department of Children and Family Services. A county representative could not be immediately reached.

McKnight-Hillman died following the attack at the group home on Jan. 2, 2021. Homicide detectives said he was trying to break up a fight between the teens.

``David McKnight-Hillman's death occurred after years of reports of violence, assaults and substandard care, due to Wayfinder's inability to handle the severe mental, behavioral and emotional challenges of the youth in the facility,'' the suit alleges.

Wayfinder management and the county failed to adequately train staff, underreported incidents of violence and continually failed to address the compounding concerns related to resident care at the facility, according to the lawsuit, which alleges wrongful death, civil rights violations and negligence and seeks unspecified damages.

Two of the teens, Nyier Mason and Keith Lewis, both 19, were later each charged with one count of murder.

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