Alnaji Loay

Moorpark Man Pleads Not Guilty In Death Of Pro-Israeli Demonstrator

Monday June 10, 2024

     Update-A Moorpark man has pleaded not guilty in connection with the death of a pro-Israel supporter during competing demonstrations in Thousand Oaks last year over the Israel-Hamas war.

     51-year-old Loay Alnaji of Moorpark was arraigned Monday on the formal charges filed by the Ventura County District Attorney's Office in connection with the death of 69-year-old Paul Kessler of Thousand Oaks.

     Alnaji pleaded not guilty to involuntary manslaughter and battery with serious bodily injury and he denied two special allegations that they were serious felonies that would make him eligible for prison if convicted.

     A pretrial conference was set for September.

     Monday's proceeding came after a judge had earlier found sufficient evidence at a preliminary hearing in May that Alnaji face trial.

     At that hearing, prosecutors presented evidence and testimony from witnesses and law enforcement regarding the actions of both men leading up to Kessler falling and hitting his head on the sidewalk.

     The Medical Examiner determined that was the cause of his death.

     Prosecutors say Alnaji was responsible for what happened, but defense attorneys have claimed he is not.

     Alnaji remains free on bail.