.

Case Against 3rd Cop in Kelly Thomas Case Dropped

The dead man's father, Ron Thomas, objects to the decision to no longer proceed with trying the officer for involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Kelly Thomas died after being taken off life support after he sustained injuries in a run-in with police.
Kelly Thomas died after being taken off life support after he sustained injuries in a run-in with police.

Four days after two former Fullerton police officers were acquitted of charges stemming from the death of transient Kelly Thomas, charges were formally dismissed Friday against a third ex-officer charged in the case.

Former Officer Joe Wolfe had been facing charges of involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force stemming from the July 5, 2011, struggle with Thomas at the Fullerton Transportation Center. Thomas was taken off life support five days later.

Prosecutors opted to drop the charges following Monday's acquittal of former Fullerton Officer Manuel Ramos and ex-Lt. Jay Cicinelli. Ramos, 39, had been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while Cicinelli, 41, was charged with involuntary manslaughter and use of excessive force.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said he would dismiss the case against Wolfe because his role in the beating was "not as reprehensible."

That decision did not sit well with Thomas' father, Ron, who said he wanted prosecutors to put Wolfe on trial.

"He's a very, very bad character. He was the first one to strike Kelly with a baton with his hands up surrendering, and then the devastating elbow blows crushing his face," Ron Thomas said.

Thomas expressed his displeasure in court Friday, but Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg went along with prosecutors' request to dismiss the case against Wolfe.

- City News Service

judy January 18, 2014 at 10:40 AM
Such a sad injustice my heart goes out to Ron

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something