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VENTURA COUNTY NEWS

Man Charged With Murder in Beating Death of Retiree

May 27, 2000|TRACY WILSON | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Ventura County prosecutors filed murder charges against a 28-year-old Ventura resident on Friday for allegedly beating a retired business owner to death during a robbery two months ago.

James "Jamie" Cid was arrested two months ago and charged with attempted murder in the March 10 attack on 78-year-old Jack Jamar, who was found beaten in a bedroom of his Ventura home after a passerby found his wallet and attempted to return it.

Jamar never awoke from a coma-like state and died May 16. The coroner's office attributed the death to multiple blunt-force injuries to the head.

Deputy Dist. Atty. Maeve Fox amended the charges against Cid from attempted murder to murder. The prosecutor also filed a special circumstance allegation accusing Cid of killing Jamar during a robbery. The allegation makes Cid eligible for the death penalty.

Cid, who also faces charges of robbery and burglary, appeared with a public defender Friday morning in Ventura County Superior Court.

Standing behind a caged partition and dressed in loose-fitting blue jail clothes, Cid pleaded not guilty to the charges.

A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for Friday, but Deputy Public Defender Donna Forry sought a 10-week postponement after Fox amended the charges.

The case is now set for a preliminary hearing Aug. 10.

Jamar, a widower and longtime Ventura resident, was a World War II veteran and former owner of J & J Oil Field Trucking. He retired in 1985.

Authorities say Jamar 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 may be how he met Cid. Detectives suspect that Jamar gave a ride to the former hotel housekeeper in his car on either Thompson Boulevard or Ventura Avenue before the alleged attack. But because Jamar was never able to give a statement, police aren't sure.

Ventura police were called to Jamar's Varsity Street house about 6 p.m. after receiving a report of suspicious circumstances after a woman found Jamar's wallet and neighbors were unable to locate the retiree at his home.

When police arrived, they found the front door open and Jamar in the bedroom. Detectives said the injuries to his head were so severe they initially thought he had been shot. Objects in his throat--initially believed to be bullets--were later determined to be metal-crowned teeth.

Cid was arrested on March 28 in Chula Vista on suspicion of having attacked Jamar. He was later charged with the felony counts and allegations that he caused great bodily injury to an elderly person.

During Friday's brief court appearance, Forry repeatedly referred to her client, who has delicate features and long wavy hair, as "she."

Questioned afterward, Forry declined to discuss whether her client is a transvestite, as authorities have previously suggested. Forry said only: "I believe she likes to be referred to as 'Jamie.' "

Cid remains in Ventura County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond.

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