EMT: "I Was Told Zehm Was Hit In Head With Baton" - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

EMT: "I Was Told Zehm Was Hit In Head With Baton"

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SPOKANE, Wash -- Day Six of the criminal trial for Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson began with testimony from an emergency medical technician who responded to the convenience store on N. Division the night of Otto Zehm's death. EMT Aaron Jaramillo said that Spokane Police Officer Tim Moses told him that night that Zehm was tasered twice and hit in the head, neck and upper chest with a baton.

The claim that Zehm was hit in the head with a baton contradicts what Karl Thompson has said all along that he never struck Zehm in the head with a baton. Jaramillo also testified in May of 2009 when Karl Thompson was indicted.

Defense Attorney Steve Lamberson went after Jaramillo saying that Jaramillo noted no evidence of a head injury to Zehm in his medical report. Lamberson says he thinks if Zehm had been hit with a baton to the head Jaramillo would have been able to notice injury to the head. Jaramillo also testified that he was told by Officer Moses upon his arrival that Zehm lunged at Officer Thompson.

Dr. Harry Smith, an expert in radiology and injury causation, also took the stand Thursday morning. Dr. Smith testified that the damage to the head of Otto Zehm was a "relatively blunt force of impact" that was caused by a baton. Dr. Smith said that there were multiple blows to Zehm's head and that he does not believe that it is possible that a knee could have caused this type of damage.

The biggest testimony that could come Thursday is from Officer Tim Moses. It was announced that Moses was on the witness list late Wednesday night, but conversations earlier in the week inside the courtroom indicate that he may invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
 
Several testimonies that have taken place already in court say that Moses informed them the night of the incident that Zehm was hit in the head with a baton. None of the testimonies mention where Moses got his information that this was the case. 
 
Karl Thompson is on trial for the use of excessive force and lying to investigators in the 2006 death of the 36-year-old Zehm. On March 18, 2006 Thompson entered a Zip Trip, at 1712 N. Division St., with information that Zehm may have robbed two women in a car using a nearby ATM. That information later proved to be false.

Federal prosecutors say Zehm entered the convenience store, which he routinely visited, to buy a soft drink and fast food. While inside the Zip Trip police beat, hog-tied, and tased Zehm. Zehm died two days later.

The prosecution announced earlier in the week that it hopes to rest its case by Friday which means that the defense could start calling witnesses as soon as Monday.

 

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