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Double murder suspect hurt in what's believed to be an attack by fellow Ventura County jail inmate

Photo by Tim Hufner/Unsplash

70-year-old man has been in a hospital since the April 11th incident.

A 70-year-old Ventura County man arrested for some cold case murders is in a hospital, after apparently being assaulted by a fellow inmate at a jail facility.

Tony Garcia was arrested in 2023 for the murders of two young women more than 40 years ago. The case had gone cold, but DNA evidence led to the Oxnard’s man arrest. He’s accused of the 1981 murders of Rachel Zendejas of Camarillo and Lisa Gondek of Oxnard.

Garcia pled not guilty to the charges and is awaiting trial. Ventura County Sheriff’s officials say Garcia was found unconscious April 11 in the day room area near his cell at the Todd Road Jail facility.

He was seriously injured, and remains hospitalized. Jail officials say they are still trying to determine what occurred.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.