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Third Fullerton police officer charged in Kelly Thomas beating

September 27, 2012 |  2:39 pm
Fullerton police beating

A third former Fullerton police officer, Joseph Wolfe, has been charged in the death of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man who died after a beating at the bus depot in downtown Fullerton in July 2011.

Video of the incident showed Wolfe was the first officer who struck Thomas, but he was not initially charged in the case.

Wolfe was arraigned Thursday on felony counts of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force after a grand jury indicted him Monday.

PHOTOS: Homeless man dies after run-in with Fullerton police

The grand jury heard three days of testimony from 10 witnesses and examined 113 exhibits, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney's office.

Two other former Fullerton officers involved in the incident were charged last September. Manuel Ramos was charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Jay Cicinelli was charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force.

Three other officers who were at the scene have not been charged.

Thomas' father, Ron Thomas, and supporters had pushed to have Wolfe charged.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of four years in state prison.

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-- Abby Sewell

Photo: An image from video of Fullerton police officers beating Kelly Thomas. Credit: KTLA

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