Paramedic Testifies in Fatal Beating of Kelly Thomas

Jurors Wednesday listened to testimony from a paramedic and heard audio recordings in the trial of two former Fullerton police officers charged in the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.

filephoto Kelly Thomas

File photo of Kelly Thomas (Credit: Family photo)

Thomas, 37, died two years ago after a violent confrontation with officers Jay Cicinelli and Manuel Ramos.

On the night of the incident, the first paramedic on scene testified Wednesday that he was directed to assist a police officer who had “scratches,” not Thomas who was hand cuffed and unconscious.

Video of the incident showed Thomas being hit repeatedly with fists, a baton and finally the butt of a stun gun by Fullerton police officers.

Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, died in the hospital five days later.

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

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

Both have pleaded not guilty.

Audio recordings heard in court Wednesday indicated a chaotic scene as code 3 — which indicates an officer is in trouble and in need of backup — was called out three times.

A crime scene investigator who talked Ramos that night said the officer looked shaken and tired and that Ramos said he was just in the “fight of his life.”

On Tuesday, Thomas’ family members wept as jurors watched the surveillance video shot by a security camera at a downtown Fullerton bus depot.

“You could hear him gurgling, you could hear the blood going down his throat. He’s gurgling, he’s trying to get out dad, dad help me. It’s very painful,” Cathy Thomas, Kelly Thomas’ mother, said outside the courtroom Tuesday.

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

Joseph Wolfe, a third officer, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and will be tried separately.


Related Stories