Local News

Trial Date Set in Kelly Thomas Beating Case

FULLERTON, Calif. (KTLA) — A judge on Friday set a trial date for two Fullerton police officers accused in the beating death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.

The judge denied a motion to drop the charges against former Officer Manuel Ramos and former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli and set a trial date of June 28.

Last September, Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter.

Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

In September, a grand jury also indicted a third officer, Joseph Wolfe, on charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

The judge has set a date of March 29 for a hearing on a motion by Wolfe to drop all charges.

All three men have pleaded not guilty. They all resigned from the department following an effort to fire them.

A video and audio of the incident shows Thomas being hit repeatedly with fists, a baton and finally the butt of a stun gun by Fullerton police officers.

The officers were responding to a report of a person trying to break into cars at a downtown Fullerton bus depot on the night of July 5, 2011.

Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, died in the hospital five days after the struggle with police.

Ramos received the most severe charges because prosecutors contend that he escalated the encounter by threatening Thomas.

The video, shot by a security camera at the bus depot, shows Ramos putting on gloves and threatening, “See my fists? They’re getting ready to [expletive] you up.”

The audio captures Thomas screaming for the officers to stop and calling out for this father to help him.

Back in November, the defense filed a 100-page motion to dismiss the charges against the former officers, claiming they acted within their authority.

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