Kelly Thomas case: Judge will consider motion to dismiss charges against ex-Fullerton cops

Joshua Sudock, Orange County Register, Pool photo

Fullerton police officer Jay Cicinelli listens to Tony Rackauckas, Orange County's elected district attorney, during day three of the preliminary hearing into the death of Kelly Thomas.

The legal wrangling continues in the case against two ex-Fullerton police officers accused in the beating of a homeless, mentally-ill man.

Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are charged in connection with beating Kelly Thomas. Thomas died several days after a violent confrontation with six officers on July 5, 2011.

Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Cicinelli faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

In May, a judge ordered the two to stand trial on the charges. But defense attorneys recently filed motions to have the charges dismissed, saying their clients did not violate any laws and Thomas should have obeyed officers’ commands.

At the pre-trial hearing Friday, Orange County Superior Court judge William Froeberg set a Nov. 30 hearing date to hear arguments on the motion to dismiss.

Thomas’s father, Ron Thomas, said he was told a realistic date for the trial was early next year.

"It just seems like this could have been done a lot quicker," Thomas said. "Now you know, there’s going to be delays through Christmas. Realistically, we’re looking at a trial date of February. So if we still have it in February, then I guess it doesn’t matter the amount of time in these delays.”

Ramos and Cicinelli have pleaded not guilty and remain free on bail pending trial.

Ramos, Cicinelli and Joe Wolfe were terminated recently from the Fullerton Police Department. The three other officers involved in the struggle remain on the force.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas has said the investigation continues into Joe Wolfe’s role in the incident.

Wolfe is seen swinging a baton over Thomas in a video of the confrontation at the Fullerton Transportation Center.

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