The father of Kelly Thomas told reporters Tuesday that he viewed a jury's decision to acquit two Fullerton police officers in the beating death of his son as one setback in a "prize fight" in which there are still "several rounds to go."
"I look at this like a prize fight," he said. "It's not over, we still have several rounds to go."
Thomas appeared at the news conference with attorney Garo Mardirossian, who said a civil case the family was planning to bring would expose another jury to far more testimony. He and Ron Thomas argued that prosecutors, led by Orange County Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, were hamstrung by a court ruling limiting jurors' access to a "full case" against the officers.
Although Rackauckas "gave it his best," at a civil trial "there will be a different result," Mardirossian said.
The verdict in the criminal case came after nearly three weeks of testimony from 25 witnesses in an often-packed Santa Ana courtroom. At the heart of the trial was a 33-minute surveillance video, synced with audio from recorders worn by officers.
Mardirossian said that, depending on what federal officials decide to do with the case, the family plans to file its civil case in six to 12 months.