Kelly Thomas Case: Officers plead not guilty in 2011 beating death of Calif. homeless man
(CBS/AP) SANTA ANA, Calif. - Two Fullerton police officers have pleaded not guilty in the 2011 beating death of mentally ill California homeless man Kelly Thomas.
Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli entered their pleas Friday at an arraignment in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana.
Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in Thomas' death. Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force under the color of authority.
Both officers, who remain free on bond, are scheduled to appear in court again on July 27, the OC Register reports.
Officers detained Thomas on July 5, 2011, while investigating a report of car break-ins at a city transit hub. What started out as a conversation escalated into a physical conflict. Thomas, who suffered from schizophrenia, died five days later.
The death sparked an outcry by residents, the recall of three councilmembers, an FBI investigation and criminal charges against Ramos and Cicinelli. Thomas' father has since sued the city.
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