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Man charged in fatal New Year's stabbing at Costa Mesa hotel

Officials say Adam Randy Baker killed Robert Sickles outside an event at a Hilton. The victim's friend Brian McTeigue was wounded.

January 06, 2011|By Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times

Orange County prosecutors have charged a Dana Point man in a fatal stabbing at the Hilton Orange County/Costa Mesa hotel early New Year's Day.

Authorities said Adam Randy Baker, 23, was sitting outside a New Year's Eve event put on by Ones We Love Inc., a Newport Beach promotions company, when the confrontation occurred.

It was about 2 a.m. when Baker saw Robert Sickles, 27, of Mission Viejo and his friends leave the event. Baker flicked a cigarette at them, prosecutors allege, then got up and confronted the group. Baker pushed Sickles then pulled out a knife and slashed and stabbed him in the chest, killing him, according to police.

When Sickles' friend Brian McTeigue, 26, also of Mission Viejo, tried to intervene, he was stabbed in the back, police said.

During the fight, someone in Sickles' group punched Baker in the face, police said. Baker was stabbed in the back of his right leg, possibly by his own knife, officials said.

The fight was broken up, and Baker was held until police arrived.

Sickles and McTeigue were taken to Western Medical Center in Santa Ana, where Sickles was pronounced dead. McTeigue has since been released and is recovering. Baker was taken to Mission Hospital Regional Medical Center in Mission Viejo.

Police said that Baker and the other men didn't know each other and that no one involved has gang affiliations. Hilton representatives and event organizers did not return calls seeking comment.

If convicted, Baker faces 23 years to life in prison.

Party organizers had hired an outside firm to help with security. That provided about 50 private guards on top of the hotel security detail, said Costa Mesa Police Sgt. Ed Everett.

About 5,000 people were expected to attend, and some people were turned away at the door.

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