• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Hearing set for Fullerton officers accused in homeless beating death

Manuel Ramos

December 16, 2011 12:00:00 AM PST
A preliminary hearing has been set for March for two Fullerton police officers charged in the death of a schizophrenic homeless man.

Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli were both in court Friday.

Kelly Thomas died after a violent confrontation with police in July.

Ramos is charged with second-degree murder. Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

"The actions my client took were appropriate and reasonable under the circumstances. Not to mention that he is not the cause of death," said Ramos's attorney, John Barnett.

"That's his job. I don't believe for a minute what he's saying, but that's what he's supposed to do to defend his client," said Ron Thomas, Kelly Thomas's father.

Meanwhile, Kelly Thomas's mother has sued the Orange County District Attorney for access to records of her son's death.

The D.A. has declined to release the information, saying it could hurt the case against Ramos and Cicinelli.