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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Retired Oil Company Operator Dies After March Beating

Death: Authorities are awaiting autopsy results before deciding whether to charge the attack suspect with murder.

May 18, 2000|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

A 78-year-old Ventura retiree who authorities say was savagely beaten during a March 10 robbery at his home has died, and his alleged attacker could now face murder charges.

Jack T. Jamar, a World War II veteran and former operator of an Oxnard oil company, died Tuesday evening at the Ventura County Medical Center, where he had been in a "vegetative state" since the attack.

Jamar apparently died as a result of injuries suffered in the assault, which police say was so brutal they initially believed he had been shot in the head.

But prosecutors say they are awaiting an autopsy report from Assistant Medical Examiner Janice Frank before deciding whether to file murder charges against suspect James Daniel Cid, 28.

Authorities say Jamar, a widower with two grown grandchildren, was active and relatively healthy before the attack. He owned residential properties in Ventura and frequently drove around town to collect rents.

Police say that is probably how he met his attacker, who they allege is Cid, a former hotel housekeeper and Ventura resident.

"On the day of the incident, I would suspect Mr. Jamar saw him and picked him up," said Sgt. Bob Anderson of the Ventura Police Department. "Whether he [knew] him prior to that date or not, we don't know."

Jamar was never able to give a statement to police because of his injuries.

Police officers were called to Jamar's home in the 4300 block of Varsity Drive, near Ventura College, after a neighbor found Jamar's front door open and received no response after calling to him, Anderson said.

The sergeant said there were no signs of forced entry and the house had not been ransacked. They found Jamar badly beaten inside.

"He had been struck in the head a number of times," Anderson said. "He had lacerations and scrapes and swelling and he was in very bad condition."

Two metal objects caught in Jamar's throat showed up on a hospital X-ray and authorities initially thought they were bullets. But Anderson said it was later determined that the objects were metal crowns from Jamar's teeth.

Authorities believe Jamar was beaten with a blunt object but Anderson said police "didn't find anything at the house that we could conclude was used in the attack."

Cid was arrested in late April in Chula Vista on suspicion of attacking Jamar. He was later charged with attempted murder, robbery, burglary and allegations that he caused great bodily injury to an elderly person.

Cid has pleaded not guilty to the felony charges.

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