Two California policemen ordered to trial over videotaped beating death

Reuters News
Posted: May 10, 2012 4:24 PM

SANTA ANA (Reuters) - A judge ordered two Southern California policemen on Tuesday to stand trial on homicide charges in the death of a schizophrenic homeless man who was beaten and repeatedly shocked with a stun gun by officers last July.

The fatal confrontation between police in Fullerton, California, 30 miles southeast of Los Angeles, and 37-year-old Kelly Thomas was caught on videotape and touched off a series of protests in the city.

One officer charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter faces a maximum penalty of 15 years to life in prison if found guilty. The second policeman is charged with involuntary manslaughter and the use of excessive force, and faces up to four years in prison if convicted.

(Reporting by Tori Richards; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)