Kelly Thomas Police Beating

Jury selection underway for fullerton police officers charged with murder of Kelly Thomas

Compulation of Manuel Anthony Ramos and Jay Cicinelli booking photosJury selection began Monday morning before a packed Orange County courthouse in the murder and manslaughter trials of two former Fullerton police officers accused of beating a homeless man to death in 2011.

Manuel Anthony Ramos, 39, is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and ex-Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 41, is charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force in connection with the beating death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man reported to have schizophrenia.

However, TV and livestream coverage of the emotionally charged case will be limited. Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg ruled during a pretrial hearing October 18 that cameras will only be allowed in the courtroom during opening statements, closing arguments, the verdict and sentencing portions of the trial.

Surveillance footage from a nearby building shows Officer Ramos confronting the shirtless and bearded Thomas, searching his backpack and sitting him down, before saying “Now see my fists? They are getting ready to F you up.”

What would have otherwise been a routine arrest then turned into a 10-minute altercation involving six officers that left Thomas beaten, shocked several times with a Taser, and laying in a pool of his own blood. Thomas was taken by ambulance to St. Jude Medical Center in Fullerton and then transferred to UCI Medical Center in orange where he passed away 5-days later after being taken off life support.

Both officers were dismissed from the Fullerton Police Department after Thomas’ death.

Ramos faces a potential sentence of 15 years to life if convicted of second-degree murder and four years if convicted of involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison if found guilty.

Trial is scheduled to begin December 2 with opening statements.

Ryan Kerns, Esq., Wild About Trial

Copyright 2013 Wild About Trial. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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