Sun. Dec 10th, 2023
Prentis John Hill
Shannon Pearce Likens

Prentis John Hill, a 44-year-old man, is on trail for repeatedly stabbed his girlfriend,38-year-old Shannon Pearce Likens, with a screwdriver and strangled her with a New England Patriots jacket in their Santa Ana apartment, at 316 W. Fourth St., on Dec. 16, 2017, nearly five years ago, as a prosecutor related to the jury on Thursday, Sept. 29.

On 12/16/17 at approximately 7:00 pm, the Santa Ana Police received information that the suspect walked into the emergency room at College Hospital in Costa Mesa. Santa Ana Police Officers responded to the hospital and took the suspect, Prentis John Hill, into custody.

On Saturday, December 16, 2017, at 11:33 AM, SAPD officers responded to a domestic violence call at 316 West 4th Street, #209. Upon arrival, they found the apartment door closed. There was no answer. Neighboring tenants reported a violent altercation and that the male suspect fled the building prior to the arrival of police.

Officers entered the apartment and found an adult female on the floor bleeding, with trauma to her body. She was unresponsive. Officers began life saving measures. Orange County Fire Authority paramedics arrived and took over treatment. OCFA paramedics declared the female deceased at 11:55 AM. The Orange County Coroner’s Office positively identified the decedent as Shannon Pearce Likens.

On 12/16/17 at approximately 7:00 pm, the Santa Ana Police received information that the suspect walked into the emergency room at College Hospital in Costa Mesa. Santa Ana Police Officers responded to the hospital and took the suspect, Prentis John Hill, into custody.

Likens was a divorced mother of three children. She met Hill while they were both patients at College Hospital Costa Mesa, which provides mental health services. Both Likens and Hill had a history of mental health issues, according to the prosecutor.

The jurors were presented with surveillance video photos that showed the couple walking to a share bathroom in the mixed-use residential/retail building where they used a shared kitchen and a restroom.

Their neighbors, Brandy Fajardo, and her 18-year-old son, Dylan, heard loud arguing at about 11:30 a.m. that day. The arguing led to what sounded like “repeated hard blows,” and a “woman screaming for help.”

The neighbors called 911 and related that to Hill when they saw him in the hallway. He said something like “Sorry for the noise.”‘

Hill changed out of his blood-spattered shirt, walked a block and a half to his car and then left the area, according to the prosecutor.

When the SAPD police officers arrived at the scene, they found the victim wedged between the bed and a bookcase. They tried to revive but she was pronounced dead at the scene by the paramedics who responded.

Likens was stabbed in the head, through an eye and ear, with a nine-inch screwdriver and then she was strangled with her Patriots jacket, according to the prosecutor.

Hill eventually arrived at College Hospital at about 6 p.m. that same day as the killing. He told the triage nurse, Joseph Baker, “I killed my girlfriend … She made me really angry,” according to the prosecutor.Hill also said that he “kept stabbing her with a screwdriver over and over.”

Baker called 911 and the police arrested Hill, who still had his girlfriend’s blood on his hands.

Mitch Timbanard, Hill’s defense attorney did not deliver an opening statement. However he has indicated in court papers that Hill, his client, was “in severe distress” following the killing and “drove around for hours” afterward.

Hill’s troubles have continued while he has been behind bars as he is also charged with assaulting another inmate while in custody. However the jury will not consider that incident as part of the current trial.

Hill is looking at up to 26 years to life in prison if he is convicted.

The victim had a history of suicide attempts and drug and alcohol abuse, according to court filings by her ex-husband.

In September 2013, James Robert “Bob” Likens IV filed for a temporary restraining order against his then-estranged wife, in which he described a chaotic scene in which she tried to pull their toddler child from his arms, ultimately triggering a call to the police.

He alleged that his spouse had “a history of mental problems, and a problem with prescription pills,” and had to be hospitalized for psychiatric reasons multiple times. At the time of her killing, their children were 8, 6 and 2.

Likens told City News Service after the victim was killed that he was married to her for 18 years and that her mental health problems could be traced back to a miscarriage of twins. But she was trying to turn her life around at the time of her death.

“It sounds like she was doing better. She got an apartment and a job and she was on the up-and-up,” he said, adding that she was back on speaking terms with her family and brought Hill with her to a family Thanksgiving dinner.

“She was asking about the kids. That was a positive,” he said.

Likens said his ex-wife was such a talented saleswoman that Mercedes-Benz moved her family across the country to New Jersey so she could work at the then-number one dealership in the country some years ago.

“They gave us a condo on the beach, a new car and kept us out there for awhile,” he said. “She was very, very smart.”

But when she got pregnant with twins and lost them, she grew despondent, her ex-husband said.

“She got depressed, got some medication for it and it kind of went downhill from there,” he said.

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

7 thoughts on “Man who brutally killed his girlfriend in Santa Ana in 2017 finally goes on trial”
  1. closing arguments tomorrow on Thursday at 130, forensic pathology reports that she was stabbed > 19 times, strangled; Hill admitted today that he stabbed her and left her to die

  2. Closing arguments Thursday 130 in oc superior court…he testified today that he did stab her multiple times, and planned to marry her

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