Defense Rests in Kelly Thomas Trial; Charged Officers Don’t Take Stand

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The defense rested Wednesday without calling either of the two Fullerton police officers charged in the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas.

filephoto manuel ramos jay cicinelli kelly thomas trial

File photo of Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli in court.

Jurors did hear from heart specialist Dr. Stephen Karch, who said he believed that years of drug abuse had taken its toll on Thomas’ heart, and was the main reason for his death.

Video of the July 5, 2011 incident shows 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 after the incident.

Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the case, while officer Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

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 the beating.

The prosecution was expected to call at least one rebuttal witness on Thursday.

Due to the holidays, a two-week break in the trial was scheduled to begin after Thursday’s testimony.

KTLA’s Chip Yost contributed to this report.