Two 18-year-old males have been charged with the murder of youth counselor David McKnight-Hillman who was beaten to death on Saturday while trying to break up a fight in a group home in Los Angeles. The Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday that Keith Lewis and Nyier Mason are each facing murder charges and if convicted, could possibly receive the maximum prison sentence of 15 years to life.

Sheriff’s officials said deputies responded to a call at around 9:51 pm about a fight at the Wayfinder Family Services Center on Windsor Hills. The center is a nonprofit organization that provides residential therapeutic services to youths placed by Los Angeles County’s Department of Children and Family Services. Police arrived at the center and found Hillman suffering from what appeared to be blunt-force trauma injuries. 

The 25-year-old youth counselor was responsible for the day-to-day care of the facility's residents and was trying to break up a fight among seven youths when he was attacked. 

He was transported to a local hospital but succumbed to his sustained injuries and died, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department spokesperson Deputy Joana Warren told The Los Angeles Times.

Lewis and Mason were arrested for their involvement in the attack along with four other teenagers whose ages range between 16 and 17. Prosecutors said Lewis and Mason were charged with one count of murder in juvenile court but both have denied the charges.

"We all grieve for David McKnight-Hillman and his family," Los Angeles County District Attorney George Gascón said in a statement. 

"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."

The case remains under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department as authorities are still searching for a fifth juvenile involved in Hillman’s fatal beating.

Lewis is currently held at the Twin Towers Correctional Facility, while Mason is detained at Men's Central Jail, People.com reported. The four juveniles are booked at Juvenile Hall on Eastlake Avenue

Bail has been set at $2 million for each of the teenagers.

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