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Kelly Thomas: D.A. to discuss possible charges against officers

September 21, 2011 |  6:22 am

Kelly Thomas protest
Orange County Dist. Atty. Attorney Tony Rackauckas plans to hold a news conference Wednesday morning to announce whether he will file criminal charges against the six officers involved in the death of homeless Fullerton man Kelly Thomas.

Officials from the district attorney's office have said they were awaiting toxicology and other test results from the coroner before making a decision on the case. That report was handed over to the district attorney's office Tuesday, but the findings were not made public.

Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with schizophrenia who was a regular presence in downtown Fullerton, was injured July 5 during a confrontation with the officers, who witnesses said beat him until he was unconscious.

He died five days later, after being removed from life support.

Earlier this month, an attorney representing the Thomas family released hospital records that showed Thomas had tested negative for drugs and alcohol and that the immediate cause of death was "brain death" due to "head trauma" from the incident.

The hospital records released showed that he suffered brain injuries, a shattered nose, a smashed cheekbone, broken ribs and severe internal bleeding. Thomas also had been shocked with a stun gun "multiple" times, including in the left chest near the heart, the records showed.

Thomas' father, Ron, has been pushing the district attorney's office to file charges against the officers, and the case has sparked a furious reaction, including weekly protests outside the police station and a recall campaign against three City Council members.

The six officers involved remain on paid administrative leave, and the police chief has been out on medical leave for more than a month. Ron Thomas said Tuesday evening that he had not seen the coroner's report.

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-- Richard Winton and Abby Sewell

Photo: Demonstrators outside the Fullerton Police Department protest the death of Kelly Thomas. Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

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