Judge In Thompson Trial Denies Motion By Defense To Throw Out Ca - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Judge In Thompson Trial Denies Motion By Defense To Throw Out Case

Otto Zehm And Karl Thompson Otto Zehm And Karl Thompson

SPOKANE, Wash. – Following opening statements in the criminal trial of Spokane Police officer Karl Thompson Thursday, Thompson's defense attorney asked a federal judge to throw out the case against the officer on the basis of prosecutorial misconduct.

Despite warning the prosecuting attorney with U.S. Attorney's Office several times that his opening statement included arguments that were not allowed, U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle denied the motion.

During opening arguments, the government described Zehm as a man who regularly went into Zip Trip to buy two-liter bottles of Pepsi but was brutally attacked by Thompson, who "used the badge and the power it gave him to brutally beat the victim over and over again." Prosecutors said they were trying to prove Zehm wouldn't have known Thompson was coming at him.  

 Thompson's attorney, Carl Oreskovich, immediately objected, saying that the prosecution attempted to paint a picture of an innocent man after the judge previously barred any evidence labeling Zehm as innocent since the judge ruled that would prejudice the jury.

 Instead, jurors were specifically told to consider Thompson's frame of mind at that time he confronted Zehm and not what was learned after the incident. Jurors were also told not to consider Zehm's cause of death.

 The defense argued Thompson was pursuing a suspect and acted properly after being told by dispatch that Zehm was suspected of robbing an ATM theft. Zehm was not related to the theft.

 Both sides got into the issue of lying during opening arguments.

 The trial was moved to Yakima after intense publicity.

 The trial will pick up again at 8 a.m. tomorrow and end at 2 p.m. with a shortened lunch break. The trial is expected to last three weeks.

Five years ago, the 36-year-old Zehm was beaten with a baton, restrained, had a plastic mask placed over his face, and was sat on by officers while inside the Zip Trip. He died two days later without regaining consciousness. Prosecutors say Thompson used excessive force and lied to investigators in the beating of Zehm.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE

***************************************************************************

YAKIMA, Wash. - The defense attorney for Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson says the officer's use of force was appropriate in the 2006 death of a man in a north Spokane convenience store and says Thompson will take the stand in his criminal trial.

Thompson is accused of using unreasonable force and lying to investigators in the death of Otto Zehm, a 36-year-old schizophrenic man. He has pleaded not guilty.

Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich says Thompson didn't know if Zehm was armed when he approached him and made a split-second decision to protect the public.

Court records say Zehm was beaten with a baton, hogtied and sat on by officers.

U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle moved the trial from Spokane to Yakima due to extensive pretrial news coverage. A jury was seated Wednesday.

****************************************************************************

PREVIOUS COVERAGE:

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - A Justice Department trial attorney says a Spokane police officer brutally beat a citizen who posed no threat and disgraced his badge by lying to cover up his actions.

Federal prosecutor Victor Boutros began delivering his opening statement to a jury this morning in the case against Office Karl Thompson.

Thompson is accused of using unreasonable force and lying to investigators in the death of Otto Zehm, a 36-year-old schizophrenic janitor. Thompson has pleaded not guilty.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    New York State illegally moving convicted sex offenders from prisons into group homes with the developmentally disabled

    Thursday, September 20 2018 9:14 AM EDT2018-09-20 13:14:31 GMT
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
    Three State agencies are involved in placing convicted sex offenders in group homes or hiding this information from the families and the general public>>
  • DVR cuts ties with contractor, leaving hundreds of disabled people hanging in Spokane

    DVR cuts ties with contractor, leaving hundreds of disabled people hanging in Spokane

    Saturday, September 22 2018 1:30 AM EDT2018-09-22 05:30:53 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a life-changing resource for hundreds of disabled people in Spokane. Finding them jobs, counseling and places to live. A big part of the agency's mission is at a standstill after DVR cut ties with one of it's major contractors without warning. For twenty-seven years, Compass has been a one-stop shop for launching disabled and disadvantaged residents on a path to a better, independent life. 

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - The State Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is a life-changing resource for hundreds of disabled people in Spokane. Finding them jobs, counseling and places to live. A big part of the agency's mission is at a standstill after DVR cut ties with one of it's major contractors without warning. For twenty-seven years, Compass has been a one-stop shop for launching disabled and disadvantaged residents on a path to a better, independent life. 

    >>
  • Coeur d'Alene woman's quick thinking saves her from identity theft

    Coeur d'Alene woman's quick thinking saves her from identity theft

    Friday, September 21 2018 10:12 PM EDT2018-09-22 02:12:34 GMT

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Surveillance video obtained by KHQ from the McDonald’s in Spokane Valley shows an alleged thief who Krystalynn Tekancic says broke into her home while she was moving. "We're pretty sure that the person who broke in my house while I was home and they took my laptop and my phone and a few personal items,” Tekancic said.

    >>

    COEUR D'ALENE, Idaho - Surveillance video obtained by KHQ from the McDonald’s in Spokane Valley shows an alleged thief who Krystalynn Tekancic says broke into her home while she was moving. "We're pretty sure that the person who broke in my house while I was home and they took my laptop and my phone and a few personal items,” Tekancic said.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/