Follow us:

The Today File

Your guide to the latest news from around the Northwest

December 19, 2011 at 12:10 PM

Judge denies motion for acquittal in police beating

The Associated Press

SPOKANE – A federal judge has denied a defense motion to acquit a Spokane police officer who has already been convicted of using excessive force in a case that ultimately led to the death of a mentally ill man.

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled Monday that a reasonable jury could conclude that Officer Karl Thompson acted willfully in his 2006 confrontation with janitor Otto Zehm.

Thompson’s lawyers had sought the acquittal on grounds there was no evidence that he acted with bad or evil purpose in beating Zehm.

Thompson was convicted by a jury of using excessive force and then lying about it to investigators. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced on Jan. 27.

Comments | More in The Blotter | Topics: beating, court, police

COMMENTS

No personal attacks or insults, no hate speech, no profanity. Please keep the conversation civil and help us moderate this thread by reporting any abuse. See our Commenting FAQ.



The opinions expressed in reader comments are those of the author only, and do not reflect the opinions of The Seattle Times.


The Seattle Times

The door is closed, but it's not locked.

Take a minute to subscribe and continue to enjoy The Seattle Times for as little as 99 cents a week.

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Subscriber login ►
The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription upgrade.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. For unlimited seattletimes.com access, please upgrade your digital subscription.

Call customer service at 1.800.542.0820 for assistance with your upgrade or questions about your subscriber status.

The Seattle Times

To keep reading, you need a subscription.

We hope you have enjoyed your complimentary access. Subscribe now for unlimited access!

Subscription options ►

Already a subscriber?

We've got good news for you. Unlimited seattletimes.com content access is included with most subscriptions.

Activate Subscriber Account ►