Closing arguments resume today in Kelly Thomas case

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Good morning:

Closing arguments will resume today in the Kelly Thomas case with the case expected to go the jury by the end of the day.

Defense attorney John Barnett, who represents Manuel Ramos, will complete his final argument this morning. He spoke for about 90 minutes yesterday afternoon but did not complete his final argument before Judge William Froeberg recessed the trial for the day. After he finishes his argument today, defense attorney Michael Schwartz will give his closing argument on behalf of his client, Jay Cicinelli.

Orange County District Attorney Anthony Rackauckas completed his opening closing argument yesterday afternoon and will have an opportunity to rebut the arguments of defense counsel after Schwartz concludes his argument.

You can watch closing arguments via livestream right here, beginning at approximately 9 am PST.

You can review the arguments of counsel yesterday by going here.

Briefly, police responded to a 911 call reporting a suspicious person attempting to break into vehicles parked at the Fullerton Transportation Center. Defendant Manuel Ramos was the first officer to arrive. He encountered Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless person he knew from previous encounters. After a brief conversation, Ramos put on plastic gloves and told him he was going to fuck him up. Thomas stood up and attempted to get away, but Ramos and another officer got him down on the ground and began beating him. Other officers arrived and the beating continued until Thomas lost consciousness. Ramos hit him with his baton and Cicinelli hit him multiple times in the face with his taser.

The incident was captured on videotape by a security camera and audio from body microphones worn by police officers. The prosecution spliced the audio and video together to create an exhibit that has served as the centerpiece of the trial.

The prosecution has presented expert testimony that Thomas died as a result of the beating. The defense has presented expert testimony that he died as the result of an enlarged heart weakened by methamphetamine use.

You can read my article yesterday summarizing the case here.

Adolfo Flores and Paloma Esquivel of the LA Times describe the end of Anthony Rackauckas argument yesterday:

The final words of a 37-year-old homeless man filled the packed Orange County courtroom.

“Dad help me.”

“God help me.”

“Help me. Help me. Help me.”

Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas let Kelly Thomas’ voice provide an emotional undertone to his closing arguments Tuesday in a widely watched criminal case against a pair of Fullerton police officers accused of killing the homeless man in a furious beating on a summer night in 2011.

“I don’t know about you,” Rackauckas told jurors, “but I can’t recall ever hearing such pleas. Such crying. Such begging for his life. Ever.”

Manuel Ramos is charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter. Jay Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

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Fred

12 Responses to Closing arguments resume today in Kelly Thomas case

  1. Here’s another link to what happened this afternoon. Jay Cicinelli’s attorney, Michael Schwartz concluded his closing argument

    Court will reconvene tomorrow morning with the prosecutor’s rebuttal argument.

  2. Pat deadder says:

    Thank you so much and for the link.I read your post

    and the comments everyday after work.

  3. Here’s a link to what happened during the morning session.

  4. Pat deadder says:

    I’m lagging behind as usual. Just hoping these two officers are found guilty.i must say I’ m somewhat confused about the two charges second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter,don’t they mean the same thing.

  5. Evidently, no livestream coverage today. Don’t know why wildabouttrial isn’t covering it. They did yesterday.

  6. Malisha says:

    And the cops appear deranged in that recording. Rage-aholics.

  7. Malisha says:

    Strange to think that a guy could be aggressively attacking TWO (2) police officers while screaming, “Help me God Help me Help me” isn’t it? Usually a person angry enough to be violently attacking two armed grown men would be pumping adrenalin and his mouth would be CLOSED and lips drawn in a facial expression of aggression and wrath. “Help me Help me” in a wailing, pathetic tone is not even POSSIBLE in those circumstances.

  8. Apparently, there is a delay in getting started this morning.

  9. Girlp says:

    The beating could have caused the heart attack (stress), however, I believe the prosecutions expert that he was killed by the beating.

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