The defense attorney for the Fullerton (Calif.) Police officer facing felony charges in the beating of a schizophrenic homeless man says Officer Manuel Ramos committed no crime and was only performing his lawful police duties.

Officer Ramos, 37, has been charged with second-degree murder and involuntary manslaughter in the death of Kelly Thomas, 37. The attempt by Officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli, along with four others, to take Thomas into custody led to Thomas' death.

Officer Cicinelli faces charges of involuntary manslaughter and excessive use of force under color of authority. Prosecutors declined to file charges against four other officers.

Defense attorney John Barnett told reporters that Thomas was a violence-prone, dangerous ex-felon who refused to comply with lawful orders from Officer Manuel Ramos outside a transit center on July 5.

Source: Orange County Register.