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

Fullerton Police Officers Plead Not Guilty in Kelly Thomas Beating

Two Fullerton officers face charges in connection with last summer's beating death of Kelly Thomas

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli -- Fullerton police officers accused in the beating death of Kelly Thomas -- pleaded not guilty Friday, July 13. A graphic video tape of Kelly Thomas being beaten and more than ten minutes of audio are expected to be central pieces of evidence when the case goes to trial. Vikki Vargas reports from Santa Ana for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on July 13, 2012.

    Two Fullerton police officers have pleaded not guilty to charges in connection with last summer’s beating death of Kelly Thomas.

    As expected, Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli entered their pleas on Friday in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana. The arraignment hearing last about 1 minute.

    Fullerton Officers Fighting for Careers, Freedom

    [LA] Fullerton Officers Fighting for Careers, Freedom
    The two officers charged in the Kelly Thomas beating case will have to fight for their careers, and their freedom. A high profile defense attorney is already on board.

    Their next court date is scheduled for July 27. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said he predicts a two-month trial.  One central piece of evidence for the prosecution will be a  video tape of the beating.

    "I don't see how you can watch it without having a very strong human, emotional reaction," Rackauckas said.

    Kelly Thomas Case

    [LA] Kelly Thomas Case
    Two Fullerton Police officers charged in the death of Kelly Thomas.

    Kelly Thomas Case: Timeline, Photos

    The Fullerton Police Department announced this week that Ramos no longer works at the Fullerton Police Department. Cicinelli remains on unpaid leave.

    Lawsuit: Restaurant Falsely Reported Kelly Thomas

    [LA] Lawsuit: Restaurant Falsely Reported Kelly Thomas
    Accusations from recently fired bar bouncer Michael Reeves against his former employer, the Slidebar, drew a handful of protesters Tuesday, June 12, accusing the restaurant of setting into motion the chain of events that led to the beating death of Kelly Thomas at the hands of Fullerton police officers. Two of them are now on trial for the murder. Vikki Vargas reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on June 12, 2012.

    Ramos, a 10-year veteran of the force, was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Thomas, a 37-year-old schizophrenic man who died days after being beaten by six police officers last summer.

    Four other officers are on paid administrative leave. Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force in connection with the beating.

    If convicted on the murder charge, Ramos faces 15 years to life in prison. Both officers face up to four years in prison if convicted of involuntary manslaughter.

    Defense attorneys plan to file a motion claiming there is insufficient evidence for trial.

    They say recently released audio of an interaction between Ramos and a homeless man named "Dave" proves that Ramos had a good relationship with homeless people.

    Rackauckas said the defense's motions are "routine" in criminal cases, and that his office usual wins when judges make decisions on such motions.

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