Los Angles Cop Mary O’Callaghan Found Guilty of Felony Assault
It’s been almost 3 years since Alesia Thomas died while in custody of the Los Angeles police. On July 22, 2012, Los Angeles police officer Mary O’Callaghan kicked Alesia in the groin, and jabbed her in the throat. Alesia, the mother of 2, died in the police vehicle. (Note: some sources report that the incident occurred in 2013. I am reporting the date given by the LA Times.)
Alesia had asked for an ambulance, but Officer Warner Carias, one of the first responding officers, testified that he thought Alesia was on drugs and faking medical distress. An ambulance was not called until 30 minutes later, after Alesia fell unconscious.
In October 2013, O’Callaghan was charged with a felony count of assault by a public officer.
On April 17, 2014, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Renee Korn ordered the 50-year old Mary O’Callaghan to stand trial. The prosecution’s case centered on the dashboard recording from a patrol car other than the one driven by O’Callaghan which captured O’Callaghan’s action, including her smoking a cigarette as she peeked inside the car at Alesia, who was handcuffed and legs tied with nylon hobble restraints.
O’Callaghan was not charged with voluntary nor involuntary manslaughter because the coroner’s office said it was unable to determine the cause of death.
The court’s calendar began ticking.
In February of this year, the judge declared a mistrial. The mistrial came about because a sergeant told internal affairs that he witnessed the incident and told O’Callaghan to stop. That information had not come out previously, and the defense attorney, who claimed that the case was “political,” questioned why it took so long for the LAPD to come forward with the information. He accused the department of failing to legally disclose. A new pretrial hearing was scheduled for April 2, 2015.
The judicial system continued its process and there was a trial do-over.
Today, the jury returned a verdict of guilty of assault under color of authority. Thus far, there has been no report on O’Callaghan’s sentencing.