Los Alamos man pleads not guilty to murder in California

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By Carol A. Clark

A 21-year-old Los Alamos man attending Monterey Peninsula College in Monterey, Calif., is facing murder charges.


James Torrey Hill was arrested Wednesday at his Monterey apartment after allegedly stabbing Matthew Finnigan, 26, at least once in the upper torso.

Finnigan was flown by helicopter to a San Jose hospital about 2 a.m. and died a few hours later.

Hill was arraigned and pleaded not guilty in Superior Court after the Public Defender’s Office was assigned to represent him.

Police found Finnigan wounded after responding to a reported stabbing at Hill’s apartment.

Police have not released details of what led to the stabbing or the findings from Finnigan’s Wednesday autopsy.

Lt. Leslie Sonne said in news reports that Hill and Finnigan were alone at Hill’s apartment and that Finnigan lived at an apartment complex nearby.

The weapon believed to have been used to stab Finnigan was collected as evidence at the scene, Sonne said.

Friends reported Thursday that both Hill and Finnigan attended the college and met about a year ago through a private, off-campus program called College Living Experience.

The national program provides services for young adults with attention-deficit disorder, Asperger’s syndrome and nonverbal learning disorders, according to the organization’s Web site.

Program participants receive help acquiring independent living skills and live on their own, not under 24-hour supervision by staff.

Hill is being held in the Monterey County Jail on a $1 million bond.

On his Facebook profile, it indicates that Hill was a member of the 2008 class at Los Alamos High School. Hill also lists a sibling, Carmen, who set a girls state track and field pole vault record in 2004 while still a student at Los Alamos High School.

Check back for more details on this developing story.