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Loay Alnaji pleads not guilty to all charges in connection to November protester death

VENTURA COUNTY, Calif.– On Monday, Ventura County District Attorney Erik Nasarenko announced that Loay Abdel Fattah Alnaji pled not guilty to all charges during his arraignment on charges connected to the November death of a protester in Thousand Oaks.

Alnaji was arraigned on the following charges and special allegations Monday:

  • PC 192(b)-Involuntary Manslaughter (Felony)
  • PC 243(d)-Battery Causing Serious Bodily Injury (Felony)
  • Both above charges also had the Special Allegation that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury under PC Section 1192.7(c)(8)

Alnaji is accused of physically confronting another protester, Paul Kessler, On Nov. 5, 2023, while both men were participating in dueling protests at the corner of Thousand Oaks Boulevard and Westlake Boulevard detailed the Ventura County District Attorney's Office in a press release about Alnaji's plea.

Kessler later died from injuries sustained during the incident stated the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Those November protests centered around the still ongoing Israel-Hamas Conflict.

According to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, during Alnaji's two-day preliminary hearing in May of this year, Senior Deputy District Attorney Courtney Lewis presented evidence including DNA analysis of blood found on a megaphone that Alnaji is alleged to have used to hit Kessler.

During that May preliminary hearing, video and audio evidence from Kessler's cell phone was also presented as well as testimony from Ventura County Medical Examiner Dr. Othon Mena stating that Kessler died from blunt force trauma caused by both a megaphone and subsequent fall to the pavement explained the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Dr. Mena was one of 18 total witnesses called during the preliminary hearing stated the Ventura County District Attorney's Office.

Notably, Alnaji called 9-1-1 from the scene of the incident and cooperated with authorities.

This case is currently scheduled for a pretrial conference on Sep. 16, 2024, in courtroom 22 of the Ventura County Superior Court .

According to the Ventura County District Attorney's Office, Alnaji remains out of custody on a $50,000 bail and if convicted on all charges, faces a maximum of four years in prison.

Article Topic Follows: Ventura County
crime and court
Isreal-Hamas Conflict
thousand oaks
ventura county
Ventura County District Attorney's Office

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Andrew Gillies

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