Current event five article 09-26-2011

Current event five article 09-26-2011 - California cop...

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California cop pleads not guilty in homeless man's death Santa Ana, California (CNN) -- A Fullerton police officer pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of involuntary manslaughter and felony use of excessive force in the beating death of a mentally ill homeless man who died after a police arrest. Cpl. Jay Patrick Cicinelli was released Wednesday on $25,000 bail, according to his attorney and a spokeswoman for the prosecutor. Meanwhile, the arraignment of the officer facing more serious charges, Manuel Anthony Ramos, was continued to September 26 at the request of his attorneys. Ramos was being held Wednesday after Orange County Superior Court Judge Erick L. Larsh set his bail at $1 million. Ramos, who is 37 and a 10-year veteran of the Fullerton police, is charged with second degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the July beating death of Kelly Thomas, who was unarmed. Thomas' father, Ron, urged the judge not to reduce Ramos' bail from $1 million because of "the horrible manner in which my son was murdered." The September 26 court hearing, however, will also review Ramos' bail. The judge ordered both officers to surrender their guns within 24 hours. He also set a pretrial hearing for Cicinelli on November 4. The charges were announced Wednesday by the Orange County prosecutor. The actions of Ramos "were reckless and created a high risk of death and great bodily injury," District Attorney Tony Rackauckas told reporters. Ramos faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life if convicted, authorities said. Cicinelli, who is 39 years old and a 12-year Fullerton police veteran, faces a maximum of four years in prison if convicted. Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia, was beaten by police during an altercation and died five days later. The FBI is also investigating civil rights violations in the case.
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