Teenagers plead not guilty in beating death of homeless man in Santee

Six teenagers pleaded not guilty Wednesday to murder and assault charges in an incident in Santee that left one homeless man dead and another severely beaten.

El Cajon Superior Court Judge Daniel Goldstein set bail for the teens at $1 million each.


The incident occurred Saturday night on a bike path beneath Route 52, near a homeless encampment in the suburb east of San Diego.

The six allegedly got into an argument with a 49-year-old homeless man, Edward Allen. When a fight began, according to prosecutors, another homeless man, Stephen Lee Hissom, 55, came to Allen's aid.

When San Diego County sheriff's deputies arrived, Hissom was dead and Allen injured, both from "blunt-force trauma."

Arrested and taken to county jail were Cassidy Rowin, 18; Sarah Baillie, 18; Tyler Dare, 19; Brian Kish, 18; and Danny Swan III, 19.

Cheyenne Maloff, 16, was arrested and taken to juvenile hall. The district attorney's office has since decided to try her as an adult.

All six teens were responsible for punching and kicking the victims, prosecutors said. All are charged with first-degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon and face possible prison sentences of 29 years to life.

What sparked the fight is unclear. Lt. John Maryon said initial indications are that the victims were not targeted because they were homeless.

A preliminary hearing is set for Dec. 16.