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Odessa PD: Charges upgraded to murder after assault victim dies

It happened at a local bar and restaurant
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 3:32 PM CST
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -

Update:

The Odessa Police Department says Jose Ballardo’s charge has been upgraded to murder after 40-year-old Lester Bland died. According to police he died as a result of Tuesday’s assault.

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Original story

The Odessa Police Department has made an arrest in connection with an early morning disturbance that occurred at Frisky, 7050 Tres Hermanas.

Jose Bernabe Ballardo, 33 years of age of Oklahoma, was charged with aggravated assault and transported to the Ector County Law Enforcement Center.

The investigation revealed that Ballardo was involved in an altercation with the victim, identified as Lester Robert Bland, 40 years of age from Oklahoma.

The victim was struck several times in the head and rendered unconscious.

Bland was transported to Medical Center Hospital where he is being treated for his injuries.

Anyone with information or anyone that witnessed this altercation is encouraged to call Crime Stoppers, at 432-333-TIPS.

The investigation continues.

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