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Attorneys for two former Fullerton officers accused in the July 2011 death of transient Kelly Thomas wrapped up their closing arguments Wednesday by claiming prosecutors did not meet their burden of proof.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas will present his rebuttal today in the trial of former Cpl. Jay Cicinelli and former Officer Manuel Ramos.

Aside from the closing arguments, there was extra drama in the courtroom Wednesday when an indignant Orange County Superior Court Judge William Froeberg interrupted the proceedings to admonish the audience that someone had posted a photo of jurors on Twitter.

The photo was taken from a live broadcast feed and posted by someone outside the courtroom, investigators determined. A TV cameraman had accidentally caught a quick glance of the jury while adjusting equipment.

The Twitter scandal was revealed after Ramos’ attorney, John Barnett, finished his closing argument, in which he continued to hammer away at the prosecution’s argument that the ex-officer’s threat to Thomas led to criminal

negligence and justified the murder charge against Ramos.

At issue is video that captured Ramos showing Thomas his latex glove-covered fists and declaring he would beat up the transient if he failed to comply with the officer’s orders.

Barnett said Ramos had successfully used “conditional threats’ before with Thomas, who was a familiar figure to local law enforcement, and reasonably could expect it would work again on July 5, 2011.

Barnett noted that retired FBI agent John Wilson Jr., a prosecution expert on the use of force, agreed that Ramos did the right thing on a prior encounter with Thomas when he asked the transient if he had ever been struck with a baton in the officer’s effort to get him to obey orders. Barnett argued that the fists were like the baton.

A threat with a baton is OK, “but if I do this,’ Barnett argued as he raised a fist, “that’s murder. You have to decide if that makes sense … Does it make any sense at all? No.”’

The defense attorney also argued that Ramos relied on his training and noted that his trainer, Fullerton police Cpl. Stephen Rubio, testified that Ramos’ actions on July 5, 2011, were consistent with what he was taught.

Rubio also testified that Ramos’ actions complied with policy, as well, but those remarks have been stricken from the record and jurors are not allowed to consider them.

Like Barnett, Cicinelli’s attorney, Michael Schwartz, ridiculed Wilson’s expertise, pointing out he focused much of his career on white-collar fraud and worked in Washington, D.C.

“They picked an expert from 3,000 miles away who was never trained on a Taser,” Schwartz said.

One of the “myths” in the prosecution’s case is that Thomas had a right to self-defense and resist arrest because Ramos’ threat frightened him, Schwartz told the jury in his closing argument.

“The first myth I’m going to talk about is the myth that Kelly Thomas throughout this ordeal was afraid for his life,” Schwartz said. “He found himself in the middle of a fight that he started.”

Schwartz noted that when Ramos declared he would “(expletive) up” Thomas with his fists if he didn’t “listen,” the transient responded, “Start punching, dude.”

“That’s not someone who’s afraid,” Schwartz said. “That’s someone who is challenging back.”

Schwartz accused prosecutors of playing on the emotions of jurors.

“They can’t meet their burden (of proof) on the cold, hard facts,” Schwartz said. “Since they can’t do that, they play on emotions.”

Schwartz, like Barnett, challenged the cause of Thomas’ death.

District Attorney Tony Rackauckas argued that Thomas sustained facial fractures, including a broken nose, and the bleeding helped block his airways. The officers’ chest compressions of the suspect during the struggle also inhibited his breathing, Rackauckas said.

Schwartz, however, challenged those assertions, arguing that the prosecutions experts contradicted each other on whether blood got into Thomas’ lungs.

Schwartz especially singled out the pathologist who conducted Thomas’ autopsy, Dr. Aruna Singhania, for blistering criticism. Schwartz told jurors that her testimony in the trial was a “train wreck,” because she has changed her opinion on the cause of death several times.

Other experts, including Singhania’s boss, were brought in to “clean up” her testimony, Schwartz argued.

“Between the three (experts) they’ve got four theories” on the cause of death, Schwartz said.

Also, Schwartz argued, Cicinelli only delivered two quick jabs to Thomas’ forehead, and he only did so because the suspect was trying to snatch the officer’s weapon away and when all other attempts to subdue the transient with a stun gun failed.

Cicinelli cannot be convicted of excessive force because prosecutors have failed to suggest what other options, aside from striking Thomas on the head, that the corporal could have considered in the heat of the moment, Schwartz argued.

The defense attorneys emphasized that Rubio and Sgt. Kevin Craig, who was the supervisor on scene during the struggle at the Fullerton Transportation Center, said the officers acted according to their training, prompting prosecutors to seek Wilson’s opinion.

Cicinelli was a “good cop, outstanding,” Schwartz said.

The defense attorney said police officers are used to wearing armor such as bulletproof vests. But in the trial, Cicinelli has a different kind of shield, his lawyer said.

“His armor is his presumption of innocence,” Schwartz said. “Prosecutors have tried to put a dent in it, but they haven’t, and it should be very apparent at this point he shouldn’t have to wear it.”

Schwartz called Thomas’ death a “tragedy,” but implored jurors not to assign blame to his client.

“We have a tragedy at the heart of this case,” Schwartz said, telling the panel that prosecutors are arguing “somebody died, they must be guilty. But not in this courtroom. That argument doesn’t come close to piercing that armor. I’ll tell you what we don’t do. We don’t convict people in this country just to get closure.”

Ramos is charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter and Cicinelli is charged with involuntary manslaughter and excessive force stemming from the July 5, 2011, struggle with the 37-year-old Thomas, who was taken off life support and died five days later at UC Irvine Medical Center.

Former Officer Joe Wolfe, who was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and using excessive force, will be tried separately.