Coroner’s pathologist testifies in murder, manslaughter trial of Fullerton police officers

SANTA ANA >> Forensic science took center stage Thursday as the pathologist who carried out the autopsy on a homeless man who died following a violent 2011 encounter with Fullerton police took the stand to testify about the cause of death during the trial for two of three officers criminally charged in the death.

Kelly Thomas, 37, died five days after the July 5th incident after his family elected to remove him from life support. He had been declared brain dead.

During the third day of the trial of former Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, coroner’s pathologist Dr. Aruna Singhania was questioned by both the prosecution and defense regarding her investigation into Thomas’s death, and exactly how he died.

Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter, while Cicinelli — who grew up in Whittier and graduated La Serna High School before embarking on a career in the U.S. Marines, then law enforcement — is accused of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force. They were among six officers involved in subduing Thomas prior to his death.

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Video (download, 305 MB) of opening statements by Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, via the Orange County District Attorney’s Office.

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