The defense attorneys of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. have blamed a faulty email program for missing the deadline last Friday to file any objections to the pre-sentence report that could become the last major legal battle prior to sentencing.
Thompson was convicted on Nov. 2, 2011, of using excessive force and lying to investigators about his confrontation on March 18, 2006, with Otto Zehm. The original sentencing date of Jan. 27 has been delayed as attorneys continue to argue every aspect of the case.
But on Sept. 21, U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle set a deadline of 4 p.m. on Oct. 5 for both sides to file objections to the pre-sentence report.
Federal prosecutors missed the deadline by about four-and-a-half hours, but did file its request Friday night asking that the judge to sentence Thompson to 10 years.
The Spokesman-Review sent an e-mail to Oreskovich at 6:10 p.m. Friday asking whether he would file any arguments. He finally responded at 1:03 a.m. Saturday, writing: “I filed objections many months ago.”
But on Monday, Oreskovich wrote in a pleading, under the penalty of perjury, that his office has been experiencing problems with its Microsoft Outlook program and as a result didn’t receive a notice of the pending deadline.
“During the late-evening hours of Friday … I was checking my email when I came across an email from Spokesman Review reporter Tom Clouse he sent at 6:15 p.m. inquiring whether I would be filing any objection to the Presentence Report,” Oreskovich wrote. “This was the first I was aware that anything was due that day.”
He then asked for a week extension to file those documents.
On Wednesday, Judge Van Sickle ruled that because Oreskovich “demonstrated good cause for the relief requested,” he extended the deadline until noon on Friday.