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Steve Lopez: Kelly Thomas' father committed to justice for son

May 9, 2012 | 11:22 am

Ron Thomas

Steve Lopez TalkbackIt was “just horrifying” to have watched the video of his son Kelly’s beating in court this week, Ron Thomas said Wednesday morning.

He was on his way back into the Orange County Courthouse in Santa Ana to hear closing arguments in the preliminary hearing for two Fullerton police officers charged in the death of the homeless, mentally ill Kelly last July.

Ron Thomas told me he was feeling a little stronger as he reentered the courthouse. But he reminded me that he is still dealing with two other family tragedies since his son’s death.

In March, Ron Thomas’ younger brother died of throat cancer, and in April, his teenage grandson was killed in an auto accident.

What keeps him going, Thomas said, is Kelly’s desperate call to him as he was being beaten. Thomas said he remains committed to justice for his son and for others dealing with mental illness.


Kelly Thomas died from chest, facial injuries, coroner says

Kelly Thomas beating: Judge may rule on Fullerton officers' trial

Kelly Thomas case: DA makes final push for officers to stand trial

-- Steve Lopez

Photo: Ron Thomas holds back tears while he walks away from a news conference in which he talked about some of the video evidence and photos presented in court during the preliminary hearing for Fullerton police officers accused in the death of Thomas' son Kelly. Credit: Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times