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Sirens & Gavels

Alternate juror shocked by Zehm verdict?

This afternoon, Karl Thompson's lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, filed an emergency motion to get Thompson out of jail. He also filed a motion asking that he be allowed to contact jurors because of what he said was “an unsolicited email received by defense counsel from one of the alternate jurors.”

“The alternate juror’s email expressed “shock” at the verdict and stated that (the alternate juror) did not have the same opinion regarding the verdict,” Oreskovich wrote. Oreskovich is asking that he be able to ask jurors about potential infuences on their verdict.

He included a declaration by his paralegal, Jodi Dineen, stating she'd seen at least two jurors exposed to a ticker on Northwest Cable News TV that mentioned of the “beating death of a mentally ill janitor” on Nov. 1 and Nov. 2 during breakfast at the hotel in Yakima. (Why she didn't tell the court at the time is unclear.)

Oreskovich also cited problems in the testimony of a Zip Trip employee who told jurors Zehm regularly bought 2-liter bottles of soda as a reason his to-be-filed motion for a new trial is likely to succeed.

Oreskovich also said Thompson's conviction is so egregious he shouldn't be incarcerated.

“This Court, having presided over every pretrial hearing and throughout the course of trial, knows that Karl Thompson’s conviction is an aberration,” he wrote. “There is absolutely no proof (as none was offered at trial) of any violent behavior in Karl Thompson’s past. This factor weighs heavily in favor of releasing Karl Thompson pending sentencing and defense counsel asks the Court to give this factor proper consideration.”

A hearing is set for Monday before U.S. Judge Fred Van Sickle.

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