Key witness missing in trial of 4 Fresno officers

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they can't find a key witness in the criminal trial of four Fresno police officers accused of using excessive force.

During a pretrial hearing Thursday, prosecutors said Rolando Celdon can't be found in Mexico and likely won't testify in the trial of Sgt. Michael Manfredi and former officers Christopher Coleman, Paul Van Dalen and Sean Plymale.

Authorities say the officers punched and kicked Celdon during an October 2005 domestic dispute call. Celdon also was bitten by a police dog and injured by a less-than-lethal shotgun.

The defendants face charges including using excessive force, concealing the alleged assault and falsifying an official report to obstruct justice.

The Fresno Bee reports they face up to 20 years in prison if convicted.

Jury selection is scheduled to start Tuesday.