Ventura County – For the second time in three months, an inmate awaiting his court date in the Ventura County Jail has been killed while in the safe keeping of jail authorities.
On October 25th, 61-year-old Oxnard resident Michael Torres—convicted of no crime and awaiting his pre-trial hearing—was found dead in his jail cell. According to Ventura County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt Ron Chips, “Torres was given emergency aid” on the scene to no avail. Torres was unresponsive and without a pulse.
The Ventura County Medical Examiner’s Office became involved at that point and determined that Torres’ death was caused by “blunt force trauma and neck compression.” The subsequent investigation pointed to evidence suggesting that Torres’ cellmate, 35 year-old Palmdale resident Vu Cong Dao may have been responsible for the killing and had “allegedly assaulted Torres” in the cell the two men shared.
Just five weeks earlier, on September 11th, 53-year-old Ventura resident Jeffrey Kibler met a similar fate, allegedly at the hands of his cellmate 34-year-old Daniel Fuller, also of Ventura. Fuller was arrested and charged with murder.
Dao was also arrested following the demise of his cellmate, and has been charged with felony murder, with his bail set at $2 million.
“This is something that occurred inside the cell between two cellmates,” VCSD Sgt. Eric Buschow remarked.
Photo: Courtesy Ventura County Jail