Coverage of the trial involving two ex-police officers charged in the death of a homeless man

Doctor: Kelly Thomas' Body Had Signs of Shock in Hospital After Police Beating

Two Fullerton police officers face trial in the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man, who died after an altercation with police in 2011

By Vikki Vargas and Jason Kandel
|  Tuesday, Dec 10, 2013  |  Updated 8:44 PM PDT
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Dr. Michael Lekawa testified in the trial against two ex-Fullerton officers accused in the fatal beating of Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic, who was beaten in a struggle with officers during a call out at a Fullerton transportation center in 2011. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2013.

Vikki Vargas

Dr. Michael Lekawa testified in the trial against two ex-Fullerton officers accused in the fatal beating of Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic, who was beaten in a struggle with officers during a call out at a Fullerton transportation center in 2011. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, 2013.

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Photos and Videos

Day Four in the Kelly Thomas Murder Case

Jurors in the Kelly Thomas beating case case saw pictures depicting the gruesome injuries inflicted on Thomas for the first time on Thursday while also hearing from the medical examiner who conducted the autopsy in the case. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 5, 2013.

Jury Watches Kelly Thomas Beating Video

The jury in the trial of two former Fullerton police officers charged in the beating death of Kelly Thomas watched and listened Tuesday to the full encounter between Thomas and officers. Vikki Vargas reports from the courthouse in Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2013.
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A doctor testified on Tuesday that Kelly Thomas was in critical condition, his blood pressure far below normal, his heart beating twice as fast it should -- all signs of shock.

The Kelly Thomas Case: Timeline | Fullerton Police Ignored Misconduct, Report Finds

Dr. Michael Lekawa testified in the trial against two ex-Fullerton officers accused in the fatal beating of Thomas, a homeless schizophrenic, who was beaten in a struggle with officers during a call out at a Fullerton transportation center in 2011.

Ron Thomas said that as time went by his son’s body began to fail. Five days later, Kelly Thomas was declared dead.

“They actually kept him on machines so we could gather the family and come back on the 10th,” Ron Thomas said.

Paramedics testified that Thomas had flat-lined when he was first taken to St. Jude Medical Center before being transferred to UCI.

It was there, Lekawa told the jury, that he found fractures on Thomas’ head, cuts on his face and beard and X-rays showed more injuries to his chest and pelvis.

Prosecutors say his death was the result of a beating by Fullerton police.

“That’s the thing that gets me, the brutality of his murder how they beat him continually,” Ron Thomas said.

Former Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos is charged with second degree murder.

Former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli is on trial for manslaughter and use of excessive force. It is the first time an on-duty officer in Orange County has been charged with murder.

Police went to the Fullerton Transportation Center the night of the beating in response to a 911 call from the nearby Slidebar nightclub that someone was trying to break into cars outside the club.

Investigators later determined Thomas was not responsible for the car break-in attempts.

A third officer, Joseph Wolfe, faces charges in a separate trial.

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