Police: Man dies in tree branch assault, murder charge to be sought against alleged attacker

Crime Watch

A public defender stands in front of Jesus Reyes during Reyes’ arraignment Sept. 11.

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) — A man charged with assault in connection with beating and seriously injuring another man with a tree branch now faces a murder charge because the victim has died, according to police.

A report from the Kern County Coroner shows that the man, who was not identified, died on Sept. 11, a few days after he was attacked. He was listed as being 59 years old.

Jesus Reyes, 35, admitted to repeatedly striking the other man with a 5-foot branch during an argument Monday in the 600 block of East California Avenue, police said in a court document.

The victim suffered injuries including a skull fracture and bleeding on the brain and died Wednesday, according to police.

The BPD says it is seeking a murder charge against Reyes, who has pleaded not guilty to a felony assault charge and remains in custody on $500,000 bail.

The coroner’s office will release the victim’s name pending notification of next of kin.

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