Defense Presenting Case In Spokane Officer's Trial - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense Presenting Case In Spokane Officer's Trial

YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) - After nearly two weeks of prosecution testimony, defense attorneys opened their case Monday in the trial of Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson.

He is accused of using excessive force and lying about it in the 2006 death of a mentally ill man during a confrontation at a convenience store.

The first defense witness was a doctor who told jurors Otto Zehm's head injuries couldn't have come from a police baton. That contradicts testimony presented last week by prosecution witnesses.

The trial began Oct. 13 in federal court in Yakima. The trial was moved from Spokane.

Thompson's defense lawyer says the 64-year-old veteran acted to protect the public and himself as he was trained.
  

      
      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

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