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Suspect arrested in homeless man's strangulation death

James Hahn
James Hahn
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Updated: 6/25/2014 2:27 pm
LAS VEGAS (KSNV – Police say a homeless man attacked a companion after he groped a passed-out woman, resulting in his death.

James Hahn, 46, is in the Clark County Detention Center, charged with the murder of Paul Pillat.

According to a Metro arrest report, Pillat told a friend on June 7 that he had been choked by Hahn and kicked in the ribs by a person later identified as Charles Summerlin on June 6 after he started groping a woman who was drunk and passed out in the area of Flamingo and Koval.

The friend said Pillat’s neck was swollen and his eyes were bloody and appeared to be popping out of his head. Pillat was transported to Desert Springs Hospital, where he died three days later. The Clark County coroner’s office ruled that the cause of death was strangulation and the manner of death was homicide.

Metro detectives interviewed Hahn on June 19. Hahn initially denied hurting Pillat but then said he grabbed him around the neck in a headlock and took him down to the ground “full force.” Hahn also said Summerlin starting hitting Pillat because of what he had done to their female friend.

Detectives interviewed Summerlin on Friday. He said he saw Pillat groping his friend and told him to stop. When Pillat kept going, Summerlin said he hit Pillat in the head with his fist and kicked him in the ribs. He said he did not see anyone choke Pillat but heard later that Hahn did.

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