Teens plead not guilty in beating death of homeless man

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EL CAJON, Calif. — A half-dozen young people accused of killing a homeless man during a fight under a highway overpass in Santee pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of murder and assault by means likely to produce great bodily injury.

The defendants — the youngest is 16 and is being prosecuted as an adult– face 29 years to life in prison if convicted in the death of 55-year-old Stephen Lee Hissom.

Cassidy Rowin, 18, Sarah Baillie, 18, Tyler Dare, 19, Brian Kish, 18, Cheyenne Maloof, 16, and 19-year-old Danny Swan III were each ordered held in lieu of $1 million bail.

They will be back in court Dec. 10 for a readiness conference and Dec. 16 for a preliminary hearing.

Hissom’s death was reported around 5:20 p.m. Saturday in the 9300 block of Mission Gorge Road, underneath state Route 52, according to San Diego County sheriff’s Lt. John Maryon.

A second homeless man, 49-year-old Edward Allen, was also injured in the altercation with the suspects but declined medical attention at the scene, authorities said.

The reason for the fight was unclear.

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