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

Judge Affirms Charges Against Ex-Officer in Kelly Thomas Death

Kelly Thomas was the homeless man that Fullerton officers fatally beat during a call on July 5, 2011.

By Jason Kandel
|  Saturday, Aug 3, 2013  |  Updated 9:38 AM PDT
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New Video Released From Night of Kelly Thomas Beating

Former Fullerton Police Officer Joseph Wolfe

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Ron Thomas: "It’s Not Over By a Long Ways"

An Orange County grand jury will convene Wednesday in a closed-door session involving evidence surrounding former Fullerton police officer Joseph Wolfe, who was at the scene the night Kelly Thomas was severely beaten by officers at a bus depot. Two other officers have been ordered to stand trial in Thomas' death. Vikki Vargas reports from Fullerton for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 18, 2012.

Ron Thomas Satisfied With Charges Levied Against 3rd Fullerton Cop

For more than a year, Ron Thomas has been trying to bring charges against ex-Fullerton police officer Joseph Wolfe, who he believes was ultimately responsible for the beating death of his son, Kelly. “He was the first one on him and the last one off,” Thomas said Friday at a news conference. Wolfe faces one felony count each of involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force in the July 2011 beating. Lucy Noland reports for the NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Sept. 28, 2012.
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An Orange County judge has refused to dismiss a manslaughter charge against a former Fullerton police officer for the death of Kelly Thomas, who was beat by police two years ago.

Superior Court Judge William Froeberg says a jury should decide whether former Fullerton Officer Joseph Wolfe's rights were violated and there was insufficient evidence to convict him of involuntary manslaughter and excessive force, as his lawyers had argued.

Wolfe is one of three former officers facing trial over the July 2011 death of Thomas.

Full Coverage: Kelly Thomas Case

Officers beat Thomas, a 37-year-old with schizophrenia who had a long history of run-ins with police, on July 5, 2011 during a police call-out to a suspected car vandal.

Thomas never regained consciousness and was removed from life support at UC Irvine Medical Center on July 10.

Officer Manuel Ramos was charged with one felony count of second degree murder and one felony count of involuntary manslaughter. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in state prison.

Corporal Jay Cicinelli was charged with one felony count of involuntary manslaughter and one felony count of the use of excessive force. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

Wolfe faces up to four years in prison.

All three pleaded not guilty.

Ron Thomas, a former Orange County Sheriff's deputy, has filed a civil wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fullerton and its police department.

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