Arraignment Delayed For Fullerton (CA) Cops Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli; Both Fired

May 23, 2012

UPDATED January 13, 2014: All the killers acquitted on all charges.

Mr. Kelly Thomas (L) after being beaten to death by Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli (R).

SANTA ANA, CA — Two former members of the Fullerton Police Department had their arraignments on murder and manslaughter charges delayed yesterday, while three others involved in the murder remain on paid vacation.

The defense said it needed more time to review transcripts from the preliminary hearing to prepare a motion to dismiss the charges. Former Fullerton cops Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were both charged with manslaughter last September. Ramos was also charged with second-degree murder. Orange County Superior Court judge Craig Robison bought the defense argument and reset the arraignment for June 26. Ramos is free on a $1,000,000 bond, while Cicinelli is free on a $25,000 bond.

Mr. Kelly Thomas was a 37-year-old transient who Ramos knew from policing the area. It was around 8:37 p.m. on July 5, 2011, when Mr. Thomas was sitting outside near the Fullerton Transportation Center on East Santa Fe Avenue. Police say they went to the area after receiving a call about someone vandalizing cars. Fullerton cops Manuel Ramos and Joseph Wolfe arrived in separate cars, with Ramos immediately exiting his car and confronting Mr. Thomas as he sat on the ground.

Mr. Kelly Thomas

The next ten minutes would amount to nothing less than torture for the schizophrenic Mr. Thomas, as he was beaten with clubs, choked and tasered multiple times until he went into a coma. He died a couple days later. The autopsy said Mr. Thomas was basically crushed to death by the weight of the cops, combined with a broken face, head trauma, and numerous other injuries. Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas called the murder “an act that was dangerous to human life and an act of reckless disregard for human life.” He continued, “citizen have a right to protect themselves from police.” The defense for Ramos and Cicinelli argued at the preliminary hearing that Mr. Kelly may have died from “an enlarged heart.”

WARNING: the surveillance video of the murder is graphic and disturbing, as you can hear Mr. Thomas pleading for his life and screaming for his father to help him.

Though six total cops were involved in the murder, only Ramos and Cicinelli were charged. The video clearly shows Wolfe beating Mr. Thomas with a baton, but he was not charged. The other three – Kenton Hampton, Kevin Craig and James Blatney – all were rewarded with paid vacations which they are still enjoying. Mr. Ron Thomas, Kelly’s father, has worked tirelessly since his son was killed to get the others involved in the murder charged, especially Wolfe. Ron Thomas, who is a former Orange County Sheriff’s Deputy, called the killers “a gang” and said he is now ashamed to have ever been involved in law enforcement.

Ron Thomas got a small victory this morning, as it is being reported by Friends for Fullerton’s Future that both Ramos and Wolfe were fired this morning. They were terminated, however, for their refusal to talk to investigators, not for savagely killing Mr. Thomas. It is also being reported that Cicinelli was fired.

Though a police-friendly plea bargain is fully expected in the end, Ramos faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted. Cicinelli faces a maximum of four years.

5 comments for “Arraignment Delayed For Fullerton (CA) Cops Manuel Ramos, Jay Cicinelli; Both Fired

  1. bobby b
    May 12, 2014 at 6:17 pm

    These cops deserve to rot in jail, but I believe men protect by the laws like these deserve nothing but death. An eye for an eye, a life for a life. They killed him, they deserve death.

  2. Bill
    April 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Or, there is another way to deal with these murderous pigs….

  3. Cristóbal García
    June 16, 2012 at 10:03 am

    Not mentioned in the article is the fact that three of Fullerton’s city council members were removed by a recall election. These three city council members were unresponsive to the demands of Fullerton citizens to make all information possible available to the public. All three are now gone. If we can’t get these other police officers charged with complicity in Kelly Thomas’s murder, let’s at least harass them into quitting! Enough already!

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