Moorpark College Professor Charged With Jewish Man's Death Is Released From Jail

Friday November 17, 2023

Nasarenko Fryhoff2

(District Attorney Nasarenko and Sheriff Fryhoff)

     Updated--The Moorpark College professor charged in connection with the death of a Jewish man at dueling demonstrations over the war between Israel and Hamas on November 5th in Thousand Oaks has been released from jail.

     Friday afternoon in court 50-year-old Loay Alnaji of Moorpark pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter by an unlawful act and battery with serious bodily injury.

     He also denied two special allegations that they were serious felonies which would make him eligible for prison if convicted. 

     A few hours later, Alnaji was released from jail on $50,000 bond after the judge reduced it from $1 million.

     Alnaji was arrested Thursday morning at his home following an investigation by the Ventura County Sheriff's Office into the death of 69-year-old Paul Kessler of Thousand Oaks.

     Friday morning the Ventura County District Attorney's Office filed formal charges against Alnaji.

     At a news conference Friday morning Ventura County DA Erik Nasarenko and Ventura County Sheriff Jim Fryhoff talked about the investigation into what happened and how they reached the point of making an arrest and filing charges.

     Fryhoff said they were able to piece together video, still photos, and other evidence to create a more complete account of the altercation that led to Kessler's death from blunt force head trauma after hitting his head on the pavement.

     Nasarenko says the evidence regarding Alnaji's alleged actions pointed to involuntary manslaughter, not murder.

     But he also said they are still investigating whether the incident was a hate crime which requires a very specific set of evidence and circumstances.

     Alnaji is due back in court on November 29th.