Stabbing Death Ruled Self Defense by District Attorney’s Office

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The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has ruled the April 23, 2014, stabbing, which resulted in the death of 47-year-old Michael Hess of Long Beach, a case of self defense.

The preliminary investigation determined that Hess had been involved in a dispute with a 52-year-old male subject who resided in his apartment complex, located in the 6500 block of Indiana Avenue, prior to the stabbing. That subject was identified and arrested the following day, April 24, 2014.

As the investigation progressed, detectives learned that Hess was involved in both a verbal dispute and physical altercation with the male subject in the garage area, over a personal disagreement. The male subject attempted to end the dispute; however, Victim Hess would not let him. Hess repeatedly re-instigated the argument, along with the physical altercation, causing the male subject to eventually retreat into his apartment inside the complex. Victim Hess continued to pursue the male subject and climbed a 6-foot gate to gain access to a secured area of the complex where the male subject’s window could be accessed. Realizing that Hess was attempting to get in the apartment through the bathroom window, the male subject’s roommate called 9-1-1. Hess was successful in pulling a screwed in screen off of the bathroom window, and climbing inside. Knowing that Hess was trained in martial arts, the male subject armed himself with a kitchen knife. When Hess entered the male subject’s bedroom and went after him, the male subject defended himself, which resulted in Hess sustaining multiple stab wounds.

Hess was determined deceased at the scene by paramedics.

Long Beach Police Homicide detectives concluded their investigation, and presented the case, which included video evidence that corroborated witness statements, to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office on April 28, 2014. The District Attorney’s office reviewed the case and determined that the male subject had acted in self defense and filing charges was not warranted.

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