Sirens & Gavels archive for Oct. 2011

MONDAY, OCT. 31, 2011

Honorable man or SPD whitewash? 

Before closing arguments today in the excessive force trial of Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson, lawyers debated the addition of two crucial jury instructions: one regarding Otto Zehm's right to defend himself against unlawful force and the other regarding the need for Thompson to be...

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Zehm: No video allowed in jury room 

Jurors are hearing instructions before closing arguments begin. Get minute-by-minute updates from the courtroom here. When jurors began deliberations in the excessive force trial of Officer Karl Thompson, they won't be able to review the surveillance video of his fatal confrontation with Otto Zehm without...

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SUNDAY, OCT. 30, 2011

Zehm closing arguments set for Monday 

The case against Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. should be in the jury's hands by Monday afternoon, which would have been Otto Zehm's 42nd birthday. Thompson, the first officer to confront Zehm following a mistaken report of a possible theft in 2006, is...

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FRIDAY, OCT. 28, 2011

Karl Thompson's testimony resumes today

Karl Thompson is back on the stand right now as prosecutors finish cross examination. Get minute-by-minute updates here. Thompson's testimony began Thursday: YAKIMA – After more than five years of videotape review and federal allegations of a police coverup, Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 27, 2011

Terry Ferguson testifes in Zehm case 

Get minute-by-minute updates from the coutroom here. A retired Spokane police detective who found no evidence that Officer Karl Thompson used excessive force when confronting Otto Zehm testified as a witness for the defense Thursday, but her most memorable testimony came on cross examination. Defense...

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Jury wants more information on Zehm 

Get minute-by-minute updates from the courtroom here. Jurors in the excessive force trial of Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. apparently are bothered by the lack of information about Otto Zehm being allowed in the trial. U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle disclosed today...

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Karl Thompson is testifying right now

Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson is testifying now as the last witness in his excessive force trial in U.S. District Court in Yakima. This is the first time Thompson has spoken publicly about the fatal confontation with Otto Zehm on March 18, 2006. Retired Spokane...

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Police chief addresses property crimes 

Spokane police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick took to YouTube yesterday to address concerns about the elimination of the property crimes unit. While police are no longer investigating property crimes, Kirkpatrick said patrol teams and repeat offender programs have helped decrease property crimes in Spokane. Past coverage...

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WEDNESDAY, OCT. 26, 2011

Karl F. Thompson Jr., center, a Spokane police officer facing charges of lying to investigators and using excessive force in the Otto Zehm case, arrives with his legal team at the William O. Douglas Federal Building on Wednesday in Yakima. (Colin Mulvany)

Karl Thompson to testify tomorrow 

Karl Thompson and his legal team, including Carl Oreskovich and Steve Lamberson, arrive at the William O. Douglas Federal Building in Yakima for the start of Thompson's trial. (AP file photo) Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson will testify tomorrow at his excessive force trial in...

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Police: Biker purse theft suspect ID'd

Police have identified a suspect in a purse-snatching robbery outside a South Hill grocery store. After releasing surveillance video Tuesday of the Oct. 20 crime, police realized that a suspect was already in custody for a similar purse theft that occurred Oct. 21 at Albertsons...

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Track the Karl Thompson-Otto Zehm trial

The defense is expected to rest on Thursday. Defense expert Michael Schott, a forensic image analyst who disputes prosecutors' description of the surveillence video, is on the stand now. Get minute-by-minute updates from the courtroom here. YAKIMA – Spokane police Officer Steven Braun Jr. on...

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Man, 20, arrested for 2007 homicide

A 20-year-old man has been arrested in connection with a 2007 homicide. Derrick Gregory Martin-Armstead remains in the Spokane County Jail on $1 million bond after appearing in court on Tuesday on a first-degree murder charge for the Nov. 12, 2007, shooting death of Daniel...

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TUESDAY, OCT. 25, 2011

Spokane police are asking for helping identifying two people on a motorcycle who stole a disabled woman's purse last week. 

The woman was loading groceries into her vehicle in the Huckleberries market parking lot, 926 S. Monroe St., about 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 when two people on a motorcycle drove up grabbed her purse and fled through the parking lot.

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Check at (509) 456-2233. (surveillence image)

Tips sought on motorcycle-riding robbers 

Spokane police are asking for helping identifying two people on a motorcycle who stole a disabled woman's purse last week. The woman was loading groceries into her vehicle in the Huckleberries market parking lot, 926 S. Monroe St., about 4 p.m. on Oct. 20 when...

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2nd doctor says Zehm was not hit in head 

A second medical expert testified today that injuries to Otto Zehm's head were not caused by a police baton. Dr. Daniel Davis, a forensic pathologist and the medical examiner in Lane County, Ore., said Zehm's head injuries were not caused by Officer Karl Thompson hitting...

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Judge blasts latest dispute in Zehm case 

U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle apparently has grown weary of the continuing admissibility battles between the prosecution and defense in Officer Karl Thompson's excessive force trial. "I don't recall spending as much time pre-trial on any criminal case I've ever tried, and I've been...

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Doctor says Zehm was not struck in head

I'll be tracking the trial again today with minute-by-minute updates on Twitter. Another defense expert, Dr. Dan Davis, is testifying now. Check it out here. Here's a summary from yesterday: YAKIMA – After nearly two weeks of critical prosecution testimony, defense attorneys for Spokane police...

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MONDAY, OCT. 24, 2011

Keep up with the Thompson-Zehm trial 

The first witness of the day in the Karl Thompson trial is Angela Wiggins, who was working at Zip Trip the night of the encounter that led to Otto Zehm's death. Prosecutors say Wiggins, who was arrested last week on a material witness warrant, heard...

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FRIDAY, OCT. 21, 2011

Listen to Karl Thompson's SPD interview 

Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson described his encounter with Otto Zehm in a 2006 interview with Detective Terry Ferguson, who has since retired. Jurors heard that interview in court last week. Now you can listen to it above. Thompson is pictured outside the Yakima courthouse...

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McIntyre describes 'intimidation' by FBI 

A Spokane police officer who is the target of a grand jury investigation for her role in the Otto Zehm case cried on the stand today as she alleged intimidation by federal agents. Sandy McIntyre, who has a "father-daughter relationship" with Karl Thompson, has previously...

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Tim Moses: Thought I could trust FBI 

Spokane police Officer Tim Moses was so rattled after meeting with federal investigators about the Otto Zehm case that he feared an agent might be secretly recording him when he met with him afterward. Moses knew an FBI agents from hostage negotiation team trainings, in...

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Tim Moses' testimony to continue today

A doctor who testified in the Rodney King police brutality case in 1992 told jurors the Karl Thompson excessive force trial Thursday that the case are comparable. "The Rodney King case had similar elements to the case at hand," said Dr. Harry Lincoln Smith. He...

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THURSDAY, OCT. 20, 2011

This screenshot of Zip Trip surveillance video shows Otto Zehm inside the store on March 18, 2006. One of the young girls pictured, Britni Brashers, testified at the trial of Officer Karl Thompson. (Zip Trip surveillence video)

Zip Trip manager: Zehm was a regular

This screenshot of Zip Trip surveillance video shows Otto Zehm inside the store on March 18, 2006. One of the young girls pictured, Britni Brashers, testified at Karl Thompson's trial last week. A Spokane convenience store who knew Otto Zehm as a regular customer since...

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Feds: Moses may contradict own testimony 

Spokane police Officer Tim Moses may contradict testimony he gave to a grand jury in 2009 if he testifies as a prosecution witness in the federal trial of Officer Karl Thompson, according to court documents filed this week. U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle issued...

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EMT: Moses told me of Zehm head strikes

Another EMT who responded to the Zip Trip the night of Otto Zehm's fatal confrontation with Officer Karl Thompson told jurors this morning that Officer Tim Moses said Zehm had been struck in the head, neck and upper chest with a police baton. Aaron Jaramillo,...

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SPD: Hostile witnesses, immunity letter

A paramedic who wrote a report describing baton blows to Otto Zehm's head by police testified today that he heard about the head strikes from Spokane police Officer Tim Moses. It was through Michael Stussi's report, prosecutors said in opening statements last week, that the...

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