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Coroner’s report completed in Kelly Thomas’ death

The Orange County district attorney is set to announce Wednesday whether criminal charges will be filed against six Fullerton police officers involved in a violent confrontation that led to the death of a mentally ill homeless man.

A coroner’s report in the controversial death of Kelly Thomas, 37, was handed over late Tuesday to Dist. Atty. Tony Rackauckas, but the findings have not been made public.

Witnesses have alleged that Thomas, a familiar figure in downtown Fullerton, was repeatedly shocked with a stun gun and beaten until he was unconscious by officers. On a video, Thomas can be heard over the sound of a Taser calling out for his father.

Police have said they were simply trying to subdue Thomas.

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Thomas died five days after the July 5 confrontation when he was taken off life support.

Officials from the district attorney’s office have said they were awaiting toxicology and other test results from the coroner before making a decision.

Earlier this month, an attorney representing the Thomas family released hospital records that showed that Thomas 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, those 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.

Ron Thomas said Tuesday evening that he had not seen the coroner’s report.

The six officers involved remain on paid administrative leave, and Fullerton Police Chief Michael Sellers has been out on medical leave for more than a month.

The FBI and an independent investigator hired by the city are conducting separate investigations.

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abby.sewell@latimes.com

richard.winton@latimes.com


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