An Orange County Superior Court judge Friday set jury selection in October for the civil suit filed against the city of Fullerton in connection with the police struggle — which was videotaped – that led to a transient’s death four years ago.
Ron Thomas, the father of Kelly Thomas, filed the lawsuit on the one-year anniversary of his son’s death. The lawsuit alleges assault and battery, negligence, wrongful death and civil rights violations.
It also names former Fullerton police chiefs Michael Sellers and Patrick McKinley (McKinley is also a former city councilman) as well as Officers Manuel Ramos, Joseph Wolfe, Jay Cicinelli, James Blatney and Sgt. Kevin Craig.
Officer Kenton Hampton has been dropped from the suit with an agreement on both sides, according to Thomas’ attorney, Garo Mardirossian.
Trial was set to begin next week, but it was pushed back until Oct. 9, with jury selection expected to begin Oct. 13, so attorneys can work on the final legal issues, including how much jurors will hear about disciplinary action taken against the officers involved in the July 5, 2011, conflict.
Mardirossian said he was not worried about any evidence being left out of the trial.
“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.”
Ramos and Cicinelli were acquitted of charges in a criminal trial in January of last year. Prosecutors then dropped charges against Wolfe.
— City News Service