News Releases

January 6, 2021: Two Charged with Murder of Youth Home Counselor

Ricardo Santiago, Public Information Officer
(213) 257-2000

Two young adults have been charged with participating in the fatal group beating of David McKnight-Hillman, a counselor at a South Los Angeles children and family services facility, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced today. 

“We all grieve for David McKnight-Hillman and his family,” said Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón. “As prosecutors, we will fulfill our constitutional duty to hold accountable the people responsible for his murder and offer the assistance of our Bureau of Victim Services to help his family obtain the support and services they need to address their loss and heal from the effects of their crime-induced trauma.” 

Nyier Mason (dob 12/2/2002) and Keith Lewis (dob 9/7/02) both face one count of murder in case SA103771. 

The case was filed yesterday. Arraignment for Mason was continued to tomorrow in Department W30 of the Los Angeles County Superior Court, Airport Branch. Lewis pleaded not guilty to the charge and is scheduled to return on February 4 in Department W31.

On January 2, Mason and Lewis, both residents of the facility, allegedly participated in the beating of McKnight-Hillman, 25, prosecutors said. The victim died as a result of his injuries, the next day.

Bail is set at $2 million for both. If convicted as charged, both defendants face a possible maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison. 

Four male youths, ages 16 and 17, have been charged with one count of murder in juvenile court. They denied the charge today and are scheduled to return to court on February 4 in Inglewood Juvenile Court. 

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.