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A man who struck another man in the head with a wrench outside a 7-Eleven store in the Rolando neighborhood, resulting in the victim’s death five days later, was convicted Tuesday of second-degree murder.

A San Diego jury also found 29-year-old John Cowan Patch guilty of assault with a deadly weapon for striking George Almestar at around 4:20 a.m. Nov. 5, 2019.

Almestar was struck in the parking lot of the convenience store near the intersection of El Cajon and Rolando boulevards. He was admitted to a hospital in critical condition and died Nov. 10.

Patch was identified as the suspect through surveillance footage and witness accounts, and was arrested about 11 hours after the attack on El Cajon Boulevard, less than a mile away from the 7-Eleven, authorities said.

In a videotaped interview with police, Patch said the victim first drove toward him in a truck, then got out of the vehicle and advanced on him, prompting him to strike Almestar in self-defense.

–City News Service


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Ellen Bullock