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Calif. officer pleads not guilty to murder in death of mentally ill homeless man
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) ' A Southern California police officer has pleaded not guilty to second-degree murder in the death of a mentally ill homeless man after a violent arrest that eventually involved five other officers.
Fullerton police Officer Manuel Ramos entered the plea Monday in Orange County Superior Court. Judge Erick Larsh denied a defense motion to lower his $1 million bail.
Ramos also pleaded not guilty to an additional charge of involuntary manslaughter in the death of 37-year-old Kelly Thomas.
Thomas died after a July 5 struggle with officers who responded to a report of possible vehicle burglaries at a transit center. Ramos and another officer were charged last week.
Cpl. Jay Cicinelli pleaded not guilty Friday to involuntary manslaughter and excessive force. He is free on bail.