Defense Witness: 'Zehm Was Resistant And Aggressive' - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Defense Witness: 'Zehm Was Resistant And Aggressive'

SPOKANE, Wash. - As court was set to adjourn on Tuesday, Defense Attorney Carl Oreskovich said he is hopeful it can rests its case by Thursday, meaning jury deliberations may begin as early as Friday or Monday of next week depending on closing arguments.

The defense called several witnesses to the stand Tuesday that back-up Officer Karl Thompson's claims that he did not hit Otto Zehm in the head with a baton. Attorneys called a death investigator, a police officer and a local business owner to the stand.

Doctor Dan Davis said with medical certainty, there is no evidence Zehm was hit in the head with a baton. He said Zehm's bruises came from his face rubbing against a flat surface, like a floor or a shelf.

Officer Steve Braun, who was the first called about the incident, said from the information he learned from dispatch on the way to the Zip Trip he was convinced that Zehm may have potentially used force. That's why he got another officer on the call. That officer turned out to be Karl Thompson.

Braun actually got to the scene after Thompson. Braun said before he arrived he heard Officer Thompson say "Code 6" over the radio which is a call for help. When Braun got there he said Zehm's arms were in a punching motion, his fists closed, and his legs were kicking. Throughout his testimony he spoke of how Zehm was extremely resistant and aggressive. Braun said he ended up hitting Zehm's rib cage with his baton 7 to 8 times and he tasered Zehm under Thompson's instruction. Braun said Zehm was so resistant he called for more back up after he was on the scene.

This testimony once again goes against several of the prosecutions witnesses that said Zehm wasn't aggressive the night he was beaten, hog-tied, and tasered inside the zip trip in North Spokane.

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