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Sirens & Gavels Karl Thompson archive

TUESDAY, AUG. 2, 2016

FRIDAY, OCT. 31, 2014

FRIDAY, AUG. 30, 2013

Jailed Ridpath developer wants trial moved 

Spokane developer Greg Jeffreys, who is jailed on federal charges alleging that he defrauded investors of millions of dollars, has asked a judge for a change of venue for his trial, arguing that local media “has saturated the Spokane area with prejudicial and inflammatory remarks.”...

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MONDAY, DEC. 24, 2012

Karl Thompson Jr. arrives at the Thomas S. Foley U.S. Courthouse for his sentencing in the Otto Zehm case on Thursday in Spokane. (Colin Mulvany)

Thompson being held at Phoenix security facility 58 

Authorities have transferred 65-year-old Karl F. Thompson from the Federal Detention Center Sea-Tac in Seattle to a medium security facility in Arizona, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. Though he's listed as being located at the Federal Correctional Institution in Phoenix, Thompson's release...

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THURSDAY, NOV. 15, 2012

Federal prosecutor says Spokane has good police force 

U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby, whose office handled the excessive force prosecution of former Spokane police officer Karl Thompson, took deliberate steps Thursday to praise the trustworthiness of the local police force overall. "That's not an indictment of our entire police department," Ormsby said just moments...

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WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 19, 2012

Now on to the penalty phase ... 

For nearly a year, former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. has avoided sentencing on his federal convictions for using excessive force in the beating of Otto Zehm and then lying to investigators about it. But with yesterday's refusal by U.S. District Judge Fred...

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MONDAY, AUG. 13, 2012

Encounter with jurors sparks debate

Buried in the transcripts unsealed last week of the secret jury hearings held by a federal judge in the Karl F. Thompson Jr. case, was an apparent chance encounter between the jury forewoman and the alternate juror. Jury Forewoman Diane Riley said she was having...

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THURSDAY, AUG. 9, 2012

Alternate juror blasts case against Thompson

New documents released Thursday show that the only person who raised issues about juror misconduct in the trial that convicted former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. was an alternate juror who was not privy to the final deliberations. U.S. District Court Judge Fred...

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WEDNESDAY, AUG. 8, 2012

Juror: Thompson lawyers twisted words

The forewoman of the jury that convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of excessive force said in a letter to a federal judge that defense attorneys have twisted her words in their effort to force a new trial for the decorated officer....

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TUESDAY, JULY 10, 2012

Feds oppose Thompson prison delay

Federal prosecutors appear to be growing frustrated with the ongoing delays that have kept convicted Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. out of prison. Eight months have passed since a jury convicted Thompson of using excessive force and lying to investigators in the 2006...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 16, 2012

Zehm lawsuit settled for $1.67 million

A $1.67 million out-of-court settlement has been reached in the civil suit against Spokane police filed by relatives of Otto Zehm, the mentally ill janitor who died following a violent confrontation with officers after being mistakenly implicated in a possible theft. The deal also includes...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 9, 2012

List being compiled of discredited officers

Spokane law enforcement officials for the first time are compiling a list of officers and deputies who have a record of lying or who have been discredited while doing their jobs. The so-called “Brady list” is part of a legal requirement to notify defense lawyers...

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WEDNESDAY, MAY 2, 2012

Mediation set in Zehm police lawsuit

A federal judge has set a two-day mediation session to settle the $14.5 million civil suit filed against nine Spokane Police officers by the mother and estate of Otto Zehm. U.S. District Court Judge Lonny Suko issued an order directing the Zehm family attorneys, City...

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MONDAY, APRIL 30, 2012

Thompson sentencing delayed again 

U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle agreed to another delay Friday in the sentencing of former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. Van Sickle agreed to a request by attorney Dutch Wetzel who is representing video forensic expert Grant Fredericks, who caused the delay...

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MONDAY, APRIL 2, 2012

Feds dispute Zehm trial defense claims

The forensic videographer whose allegations of prosecutorial misconduct have indefinitely stalled the sentencing of former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. is depicted in new court documents as an attention-seeking police apologist who lied to federal investigators. Assistant U.S. Attorney Aine Ahmed filed scores...

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MONDAY, MARCH 26, 2012

Moses, McIntyre face charges for Zehm

Federal obstruction charges are expected to be filed soon against two more Spokane police officers in connection with the city’s handling of the Otto Zehm investigation, which U.S. Department of Justice officials have called an “extensive cover-up.” Attorneys representing Officers Sandra McIntyre and Tim Moses...

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SATURDAY, FEB. 11, 2012

Judge grants Thompson interview request

A federal judge Friday granted a request by the attorney for former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to interview a government expert witness who claims that federal prosecutors mischaracterized his expected testimony. The move further delays the sentencing of Thompson, who was convicted...

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MONDAY, FEB. 6, 2012

A look at Spokane police use of force 

To understand why the Spokane Police Department’s use-of-force training is under a microscope, consider this disconnect: Although the state’s top police trainer concluded that the fatal 2006 confrontation with unarmed janitor Otto Zehm was indefensible, the department’s own instructors and the city’s legal advisers have...

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FRIDAY, FEB. 3, 2012

Jury convicts man of threatening officer 11 

A jury has convicted a Spokane man of felony harassment for threatening to kill a Spokane police officer. Rudy Ray Cordova, 38, was acquitted of fourth-degree domestic assault, which is the suspected crime that brought him in contact with Officer Chris McMurtrey. Cordova's lawyer, Doug...

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THURSDAY, FEB. 2, 2012

Cop questioned over Thompson support 

A Spokane police officer who says he feared for his life after being threatened by a felon was asked in court Wednesday about supportive comments he posted on a Facebook page in support of another convicted felon – former Officer Karl Thompson. Defense lawyer Doug...

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WEDNESDAY, JAN. 25, 2012

Thompson seeks sentence reduction

A federal prosecutor is objecting to a request by convicted former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to reduce his potential prison sentence because he claims to have taken responsibility for using excessive force on Otto Zehm and lying to cover it up. Assistant...

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TUESDAY, DEC. 20, 2011

Thompson's motion to acquit denied

A federal judge Monday again ruled that government prosecutors provided enough evidence to allow a jury to convict former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. of using excessive force on Otto Zehm. As he did during the four-week trial in Yakima, U.S. District Court...

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WEDNESDAY, DEC. 7, 2011

Judge denies request to talk to jurors

A judge has denied a request by former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson’s attorney’s to interview the jurors who convicted him last month of two felonies in connection with the 2006 death of Otto Zehm. U.S. District Judge Fred Van Sickle said in a 10-page...

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TUESDAY, NOV. 22, 2011

City Council rebukes Thompson salute 15 

Police officers who saluted Officer Karl F. Thompson in a federal courtroom earlier this month have received more official criticism. The Spokane City Council on Monday voted unanimously to denounce the “courtroom behavior” of the nearly 50 officers who honored Thompson as he was led...

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FRIDAY, NOV. 18, 2011

Thompson's lawyers cite jury interview

Karl Thompson's lawyers say jury forewoman Diane Riley's statements to media this week are further evidence of the need to examine whether outside information was considered in deliberations. Riley told The Spokesman-Review no jurors considered information not presented at trial when the convicted Thompson of...

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Public safety news from the Inland Northwest and beyond.