Nurse Dies From Injuries Following Martinez Jail Attack

MARTINEZ (BCN) – A nurse who was attacked by an inmate at the Contra Costa County jail in Martinez on Monday died from her injuries at a local hospital Thursday, according to the Contra Costa County coroner’s office.

Cynthia Palomata, a 55-year-old El Sobrante resident, was attacked shortly after 4 p.m. after an inmate allegedly faked a seizure and then struck her on the head with a lamp, officials said.

The inmate, 34-year-old El Cerrito resident Aaron Nygaard, was charged Wednesday with premeditated and deliberate attempted murder with an enhancement for causing great bodily injury.

Prosecutor Dominique Yancey said Thursday afternoon that the district attorney’s office would be amending the charges to one count of murder.

Nygaard is scheduled to appear in Contra Costa County Superior Court in Martinez Thursday afternoon to be arraigned, Yancey said.

Nygaard had been arrested by El Cerrito police on Monday morning after a resident allegedly interrupted him committing a burglary, police said.

He had no prior criminal record and had shown no signs of aggression during the daylong screening process at the jail, Contra Costa County Sheriff Warren Rupf said.

Details on the severity of the victim’s injuries were not disclosed, but Rupf had been quoted saying the victim’s injuries did not appear to be life-threatening and that he had “no reason to believe that she will not make a full recovery.”


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