Skip to main content
  1. Life
  2. Neighborhoods
  3. Community Issues

Coroner says chest compression was part of the cause of Thomas' death

See also

Kelly Thomas died of mechanical chest compression, among other causes, according to the pathologist who testified Dec. 5.

Dr. Aruna Singhania, the forensic pathologist who performed the autopsy, testified that Thomas died of anoxic encephalopathy (brain death), broncopneumonia and mechanical chest compressions with blunt craniofacial injuries. Singhania explained that the pneumonia was caused from being in the hospital.

A diagram was shown of the injuries Thomas sustained, including 7 facial abrasions, a hemorrhaging left eye, nose fracture, and bruises on the arm, chest, lower abdomen and a thigh. Autopsy photos were then shown of Thomas documenting those injuries.

Under questioning from District Attorney Tony Rackauckas, Singhania explained that Thomas had an enlarged heart. Sections of his heart were examined, which showed he did not die of a heart attack or have heart disease, she said.

Under heated cross examination by John Barnett, Manuel Ramos's attorney, Singhania also said that there were no injuries to the lungs and also saw no evidence of broken ribs, only bruising on the left side of Thomas's chest and arm.

Judge William Froeberg stepped in when Singhania and Barnett could not agree on what the word 'discrete' meant, as to the events that lead up to the chest compression.

"I'm going to ask a Bill Clinton type question. What is the meaning of discrete?" Froeberg asked Singhania, which elicited laughter in the courtroom.

In response, Singhania said that there were a series of "discrete events" of compression that caused Thomas's death.

Singhania testified for over 4 hours.

Former Fullerton police officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli are currently on trial for their roles in the alleged murder of Kelly Thomas, a mentally ill homeless man after an altercation with him July 5, 2011. Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter while Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and assault and battery by a police officer.



  • Transgender cop
    A transgender police officer is stepping down from her position to run for office
    Political Office
  • Easter eggs
    Craft delicate, hand-painted eggs with flowers and other designs celebrating spring
    Easter Eggs
  • Subway message
    Subway customer finds 'Big Mama' written on her order
    Subway Message
  • Working from home
    Working from home can be an exciting venture. Get tips to ensure productivity
    Get Tips
  • Limes
    Rising cost of limes could be putting the squeeze on your favorite restaurant
    Expensive Limes
  • Pope Francis
    Religion: Pope Francis instructs how to fight against Satan
    Morning Mass

User login

Log in
Sign in with your email and password. Or reset your password.
Write for us
Interested in becoming an Examiner and sharing your experience and passion? We're always looking for quality writers. Find out more about and apply today!