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Murder charges pondered as Victoria assault victim dies

Week-old case becomes more serious

What began as an aggravated assault investigation was upgraded to murder Tuesday, when the victim of a brutal attack died.

Gilles Alain Thibodeau, 41, was found lifeless in a room at City Metro Suites, 2828 Rock Bay Ave. at 3 a.m. on March 16. Police and paramedics gave CPR, reviving the man. He was rushed to Victoria General Hospital, but never regained consciousness.

He died in hospital, one week after the assault.

Police arrested West Shore resident Jason Robert Van Winkle, 35. He has a history of frequent run-ins with police.

Van Winkle has been in police custody since March 16 and was initially charged with aggravated assault. With the death of the older man, police will recommend those charges be upgraded.

"This is a homicide investigation now," said Sgt. Grant Hamilton, a Victoria police spokesperson.

No weapon was found at the scene and Hamilton wouldn't comment on whether drugs were discovered. He said witnesses in the room at the time are co-operating with officers.

ecardone@vicnews.com

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