Closing the book on a Veterans Day 2003 murder, a jury today convicted the second defendant in the killing of 77-year-old Army veteran Cecil "Lucky" Warren. Huntington Beach 30-year-old John Kirk McKinney was found guilty of second degree murder and faces up to 15 years to life in state prison at his June 15 sentencing in Santa Ana.
Warren was working as a handyman cleaning up around a Huntington Beach bank parking lot the morning of Nov. 11, 2003, when he spotted McKinney and Curtis James Hill inside his van parked there.
When Warren asked the burglars what they were doing in his van, they responded by hitting and kicking him in the head, stealing his wallet with $50 inside and leaving him moaning on the ground.
A half hour later or so, a passerby found a bleeding Warren and called 9-1-1. Warren was able to give police a brief description of his attackers before losing consciousness. He was taken to a hospital and spent the next three and a half years in a coma and on life support before he died.
- Curtis James Hill, in Prison for Veterans Day Robbery and Attack of WWII Vet, Faces Life for Victim's Death
Hill, 29, of Huntington Beach, was found guilty by a jury Nov. 1, 2011, of one felony count of special circumstances murder in the commission of a robbery.
He was sentenced in December to life in state prison without parole.
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Before Warren died in 2007, Hill and McKinney had been sentenced to much lighter sentences for beating the handyman. The district attorney filed murder charges after the Army vet's death.
Indeed, McKinney was hit with the new charge three days after he was originally scheduled to be released from prison.