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MAN BEATEN TO DEATH IN MONTE RIO ID'D: ROBERT GUESS DOMESTIC PARTNER OF SUSPECT; POLICE SAY LAMP IS MURDER WEAPON

A Monte Rio man found dead in his home after being beaten to death in the

head with a lamp was identified Wednesday as Robert August Guess.

Guess, 46, was found dead Friday in a bedroom of his hillside home.

Detectives also found a bloody table lamp, which was determined to be the

murder weapon, said sheriff's Sgt. Tim Duke.

Guess had no other visible injuries, said Sgt. Mitch Mana of the coroner's

office.

Guess' domestic partner, Bret Matz, 46, has been charged with the killing

and was being held in Sonoma County Jail.

Friday's violence involving the couple followed another violent assault in

late September, according to court records. Deputies arrested Matz on Oct. 1

on suspicion of assaulting Guess during a Sept. 25 altercation.

Guess suffered a puncture wound to his upper right chest. Initial reports

stated the weapon may have been a kitchen spatula or scissors.

Guess was hospitalized following the assault and was in critical condition

for a time, according to court records.

Matz faced felony charges of assault with a deadly weapon and spousal abuse

and was set to go to trial Dec. 5. But the case was dropped after the victim

declined to cooperate with the prosecution and let a restraining order lapse.

Guess and Matz lived in a small home in the wooded hills of the Russian

River community.

On Friday, Matz went down to a nearby business and was heard talking about

his roommate being dead and having hit the man with a lamp, witnesses said. He

later was seen trying to jump off a bridge but instead fell backward to the

ground, witnesses said.

Both men had criminal histories in Sonoma County, mostly involving alcohol.

Guess had an extensive history since 2006, including several arrests and

convictions, mostly involving misdemeanor drunken driving and fighting in

public, according to county records.

He was due to serve a 95-day jail sentence for drunken driving, but the

incarceration date was postponed from this fall to February, court records

said.

Matz has two prior convictions in the county, both for misdemeanors in

2008.

He was sentenced to three years' probation in connection with a May

drunken-driving charge and was ordered to serve two years' probation in an

unrelated vandalism charge from August, according to court records.

While detectives don't believe there are further suspects in the homicide

case, they are looking for a car missing from the home.

Officials said a red 1987 Jaguar, registered to Matz, wasn't at the home at

the time of his arrest. A white Jaguar, however remained at the home.

The victim's name wasn't released until Wednesday because coroner's

investigators had difficulty locating the victim's father, who lives out of

state.

Staff Writer L.A. Carter contributed to this report. You can reach Staff

Writer Randi Rossmann at 521-5412 or randi.rossmann@pressdemocrat.com.

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