Ex-Officers Found Not Guilty in Kelly Thomas’ Beating Death


Jurors found two former Fullerton police officers accused in the 2011 beating death of Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man, not guilty on all charges on Monday.

filephoto manuel ramos jay cicinelli kelly thomas trial
File photos of Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli in court.

Former Officer Manuel Ramos and ex-Corporal Jay Cicinelli were accused of causing the death of Thomas in a violent struggle in the Orange County college town, prompting angry protests and closely watched criminal proceedings.

A coroner’s report stated Thomas died of asphyxia due to chest compression and injuries to his head and chest during the struggle on July 5, 2011, at the Fullerton Transportation Center.

The prosecution had argued that officers’ beating of Thomas was unwarranted and that Thomas was not a threat to police.

Defense attorneys responded that Thomas struggled back against officers – who called for backup after striking him repeatedly – and that he succumbed to heart problems due in part to drug use.

Opening statements began in the Santa Ana courtroom on Dec. 2, 2013, and the jury was handed the case on Thursday, Jan. 9. No deliberations took place Friday, meaning the jury had not met for a full day before reaching a conclusion.

The verdict was read back just before 4 p.m. with Cicinelli and Ramos not guilty on all counts.

Ramos faced the more serious charge of second-degree murder, along with involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Read more: http://ktla.com/2014/01/13/verdict-reached-in-trial-of-ex-officers-in-kelly-thomas-death/#ixzz2qKtlLyr5

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