Kelly Thomas Civil Trial Pushed to October

Kelly Thomas after city of Fullerton cops were done with him.
Kelly Thomas after city of Fullerton cops were done with him.
OC Weekly archives

Trial in the civil suit filed by Kelly Thomas' father against the city of Fullerton had been scheduled to begin this week, but an Orange County Superior Court judge recently pushed the dates back to Oct. 9 for the beginning of the process and Oct. 13 for jury selection.

Kelly Thomas 1-Year Beating Death Anniversary Rung in with Lawsuit by His Father Ron Thomas

Ron Thomas filed the suit alleging assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death and civil rights violations on the one-year anniversary of his son's July 5, 2011, beating death.

The litigation is not to be confused with District Attorney Tony Rackauckas' unsuccessful criminal prosecution of former Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, who were acquitted by a jury in January 2014. Prosecutors then dropped charges against Officer Joseph Wolfe, who'd also been accused in the homeless man's beating death.

The civil suit names those defendants as well as former Fullerton police chiefs Michael Sellers and Patrick McKinley, Officer James Blatney and Sgt. Kevin Craig. Unlike criminal trials, where jurors must rule unanimously for there to be resolution, civil matters are decided with simple majorities of jurors.

Despite the one-month delay in the trial's expected beginning, Thomas' attorney Garo Mardirossian told City News Service he is not worried about any evidence being left out.

"We have the video, and like a picture's worth a thousand words, a video speaks a billion words," he said. "You have a man crying out for mercy and mercy was not shown. That's what this case is about."

Email: mcoker@ocweekly.com. Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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