Man charged with murder in strangulation death - 8 News NOW

Man charged with murder in strangulation death

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LAS VEGAS -- A homeless man is facing murder charges after Metro Police say he strangled another homeless man for groping a woman.

Police arrested 46-year-old James Hahn on murder charges Tuesday in connection the incident that happened June 6.

According to the police report, the victim, identified by police as Paul Pillat, was taken to Sunrise Hospital June 8, complaining of neck and back pain. He died three days later. An autopsy determined he died from strangulation and the manner of death was homicide.

Detectives talked to friends of the victim. They said the day before Pillat went to the hospital, they noticed his neck was swollen and his eyes were bloody and appeared to be “popping out of his head.”

Pillat told his friends that he was having trouble eating, drinking and breathing. They also said he was struggling to speak.

Pillat told his friends that two men had beat him up after he lay next to and groped a homeless woman who had passed out drunk behind a bus stop near Flamingo Road and Koval Lane on June 6. He said the two men were James Hahn and Charles Summerlin.

Police were able to track the two men down. When the interviewed the men, Hahn told police he had grabbed Pillat around the neck and took him down to the ground with “full force” after he saw him groping a female friend who had passed out.

Summerlin told police he had punched Pillat in the head and in the ribs because he would not stop touching the woman.

Hahn told police he did not mean to hurt Pillat.

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