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    Huntington Beach man faces murder charges for Fourth of July killings
    • July 9, 2024

    A Huntington Beach man was charged with special circumstances murder on Monday after prosecutors allege he killed two people and injured three others on the Fourth of July in a busy Huntington Beach neighborhood where people had gathered to watch fireworks.

    Logan Christopher Kelley, 26, is facing two counts of murder, three counts of attempted murder and a sentencing enhancement for the use of a deadly weapon, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in Orange County Superior Court.

    The special circumstances allegation — for allegedly committing multiple murders — means prosecutors could opt to pursue life in prison without the possibility of parole or the death penalty. Kelley is also facing a misdemeanor count of battery of a police officer, court records show.

    The men who died have been identified as William Thomas Collins, 47, and Eric Clayton Hodges, 42, both from Huntington Beach, according to the coroner’s office.

    Authorities have released few details of what led to the fatal attack or how it was carried out. But, according to the complaint, at least one of the alleged attempted murder victims — a juvenile — was attacked with a knife.

    The attack took place around 11:15 p.m. near 16th Street and Pecan Avenue, police previously said, in the midst of a neighborhood comprised of two-story apartment buildings or condominiums. Kelley was arrested a half hour later.

    That intersection is about five blocks from the beach. On the Fourth of July, thousands of revelers flocked to the city to watch the annual Independence Day parade, as well as the city fireworks display that launched around 9 p.m. and lasted about 20 minutes.

    Huntington Beach police previously acknowledged that the area where the attack took place is considered a “prime viewing location” for the city firework show. While there is a 10 p.m. curfew for shooting off fireworks in the neighborhoods, police acknowledged that many people ignore that deadline.

    Kelley is scheduled to appear in court for an arraignment on Tuesday, court records show.

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    ​ Orange County Register 

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