Defense Calls Kelly Thomas’ Family Members to Recount Past Violence

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

The defense attorney for two former Fullerton police officers on trial for the alleged beating death of Kelly Thomas began questioning witnesses Thursday, asking family members to describe violent incidents in the past.

Thomas’ grandfather was the first witness called Thursday. Walter Diaball recalled once being attacked by Thomas, who he said was wielding a fire poker.

Thomas’ mother was then called. She said she testified unwillingly about a time that her son put his hands around her throat.

“He had a few bad run-ins with the law, but … it has nothing to do with what happened that night the Fullerton police beat the heck of him,” Cathy Thomas said.

Ex-officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are charged in Thomas’ July 5, 2011, death.

Chip Yost reports for the KTLA 5 News at 1 on Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013.