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East County News Service

May 20, 2015 (Santee) -- Five teenagers must stand trial for the murder of Stephen Lee Hissom, a 55-year-old homeless man who was beaten to death in Santee on November 29th, 2014.

Hissom and another man, Edward Allen, were riding bicycles on a pathway along Mission Gorge Road beneath the Highway 52 bridge when the attack occurred.

According to Allen, Hissom asked the defendants to move out of his way, first saying please, and then “Get the hell out of the way.”  At a preliminary hearing in the El Cajon Courthouse, Allen said the assailants surrounded him and he couldn’t see what was happening to his friend. Allen was reportedly injured but declined medical treatment at the scene. Hissom died of blunt force injuries.

The teens pled not guilty.  Superior Court Judge Herbert Exharhos dismissed assault charges against the defendants and dismissed all charges against the youngest, who was 16 when the attack occurred. 

But the judge ordered five of the teens to stand trial for murder in the fatal beating:  Cassidy Rowin and Sarah Baillie, both 18 years old, and 19-year-olds Tyler Dare, Brian Kish, and Danny Swan III.

10 News reports that if convicted, the defendants could face 15 years to life in prison.

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