Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas rested his case against two Fullerton police officers charged with beating Kelly Thomas to death today after the defense's cross-examination of an experienced UCI surgeon brought Thomas' mother to tears and attorneys into Judge William Froeberg's chambers.
“Is there any relevance to this, seriously?” Froeberg said obviously annoyed during defense attorney Michael Schwartz's cross-examination of Dr. Michael Lekawa, which at first included a near frame-by-frame examination of the surveillance video that captured Thomas' beating. “We're not going to look at every frame of the video.”
Schwartz had asked Lekawa to identify any parts of the video where the doctor saw “mechanical compression” that could have caused Thomas' brain to lose oxygen in an attempt to bring to question the doctor's credibility.
Shortly afterwards, as Thomas' mother Cathy wept in the public gallery, Judge Froeberg called the prosecution and the defense into his chambers.
After returning, the defense gave up trying to poke holes in the doctor's testimony and finished questioning him. After a quick redirect from Rackauckas to put on record that the DA's office did not influence the doctor's opinion in any way, Rackauckas rested his case.
After roughly two hours in court, the days session finished.
The defense will begin to attempt to prove Thursday that Thomas death was caused by “overexerting” his sort-of-but-not-really oversized heart or the EMTs that tried to save his life on the way to St. Jude Medical Center, not the vicious seven-minute beating that left Thomas broken beyond recognition or the four minutes after the attack where the officers stood over Thomas gloating about how badly they beat him and not rendering first aid.