(HorizonPost.com) – The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office announced last Thursday night that there is currently not enough evidence to make an arrest in the death of 69-year-old Paul Kessler who died hours after getting into an altercation with a Pro-Hamas protester last Sunday, ABC News reported.
Kessler died early Monday morning from a blunt-force head injury sustained at a pro-Israel demonstration the day before in Thousand Oaks, California during an altercation with a pro-Hamas counter-protester.
The medical examiner ruled Kessler’s death a homicide.
However, in a statement Thursday night, the sheriff’s office said the medical examiner’s findings had been “misinterpreted.” The statement explained that “homicide” only means that Kessler’s death was at the hands of another but that alone is not “sufficient evidence to establish probable cause” to arrest the suspect involved in the incident.
Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff said last Tuesday that the suspect, a 50-year-old resident of Moorpark, was among those who called 911 to report the incident.
Sheriff Fryhoff said the suspect remained at the scene until police arrived and was interviewed.
Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office have compiled video footage and photographic evidence from both before and after the incident but have so far not found footage of the incident itself, the sheriff’s office said on Thursday.
Footage from when the incident took place “would be extremely helpful” and would either show or “refute criminal culpability,” the statement said.
Statements from those present at the time of the altercation are conflicting, the sheriff’s office said, making it harder for investigators to prove beyond a reasonable doubt whether the suspect is culpable for Kessler’s death.
In Thursday’s statement, the sheriff’s office said investigators are “working around the clock,” tracking down leads, corroborating witness statements, and scrutinizing electronic data.
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