The Fullerton police officer charged with second-degree murder in the beating death of a homeless man on July 5 was released early today after fellow officers reportedly gathered enough money to secure his $1-million bail.
Manuel Ramos, 37, was released from the Orange County Jail at 12:20 a.m., according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. He had been in custody since Sept. 21.
The union did not endorse the gathering of Ramos' bail money by fellow officers, Barry Coffman, president of the Fullerton Police Officer Association, told KTLA.
Coffman says he understands the Fullerton Police Department officers requested donations from family and friends of Ramos, as well as other police unions.
Ramos is charged with killing Kelly Thomas, a 37-year-old homeless man with a history of schizophrenia, during a confrontation outside the Fullerton Transportation Center on July 5. He is also charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Ramos has been ordered to appear in the Central Justice Center on Nov. 4 for a pre-trial hearing.
Fullerton Cpl. Jay Cicinelli, 39, who is charged with involuntary manslaughter in the same incident, is also scheduled to appear before Superior Court Judge Erick Larsh on Nov. 4. He was released on $25,000 bail last week.
The other four officers involved in the confrontation with Thomas, the son of a former sheriff's deputy, were not charged but remain on administrative leave. The officers who went to the Fullerton Transportation Center were responding to complaints of car break-ins.
A judge last week refused to lower Ramos's bail.
—City News Service contributed to this report.