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Littlerock Stars Held in Assault

Jurisprudence: Raines, Newton arrested at school in connection with beating that leaves teenager in extremely critical condition.


Marcus Raines and Richard Newton, standout athletes at Littlerock High, were arrested Monday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon in the beating of a teenager who is listed in extremely critical condition at Northridge Hospital Medical Center, The Times has learned.

Sgt. Chuck Stringman of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said two juveniles were being detained in connection with an assault Saturday night at a Palmdale residence. Raines, 17, and Newton, 17, are being held at the Challenger Memorial Youth Center in Lancaster.

Christopher O'Leary, 19, was in front of the Palmdale residence when he was assaulted by two male juveniles, according to a sheriff's report. O'Leary was found unconscious a short time later and airlifted to Northridge Hospital.

A spokesperson for Northridge Hospital said O'Leary sustained "grave and heavy body injuries" and family members were keeping a bedside vigil.

The alleged assault took place after an argument at a party, according to a Littlerock student who said he witnessed the incident.

O'Leary and Newton argued at the party before taking their dispute down the street, where Newton punched and knocked O'Leary to the ground, said the student, who requested anonymity. Raines then kicked O'Leary in the head, the student said.

Earlier Saturday, Raines won two events and was fifth in another in Division I competition of the Southern Section track and field finals at Cerritos College.

Raines, a 6-foot-2, 195-pound junior, was a second-team All-Golden League linebacker for the Littlerock football team last season, when he set a school record with 190 tackles. He is considered a major college football prospect.

Newton, a junior, was quarterback of the football team. He was a member of the track team until quitting several weeks ago.

Raines is the state's No. 2-ranked performer in the 110-meter high hurdles and the 300 intermediate hurdles. He won those events and was fifth in the long jump Saturday to help Littlerock to a third-place team finish.

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