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Otto Zehm

Otto Zehm, a Spokane man with schizophrenia who worked as a janitor, died after a confrontation with police at a North Side Zip Trip store in March 2006.


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Stories


  • UPDATED: Fri., Nov. 16, 2012, 12:29 p.m.

    Thompson now in Seattle federal detention

    Former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. is in a federal detention center in Seattle, at least temporarily.


  • Fri., Nov. 16, 2012

    Thompson gets 51 months in prison

    After being handed a sentence Thursday of more than four years in federal prison – the culmination of six years of investigations, legal action and community soul-searching – former Spokane …


  • UPDATED: Thu., Nov. 15, 2012, 8:51 p.m.

    Thompson sentenced to 4 years in prison

    A federal judge today sentenced former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to 4 years and 3 months in prison.


  • Thu., Nov. 15, 2012

    Doug Clark: Justice for Zehm may finally come today

    The sentencing of Karl Thompson Jr. will supposedly take place in a Spokane federal courtroom this morning, proving I had it all wrong. Apparently, there is a limit on how …


  • Wed., Nov. 14, 2012, 6:02 p.m.

    Follow Karl Thompson’s sentencing on Twitter

    Check here for Twitter updates on the sentencing of Karl F. Thompson Jr., the Spokane police officer who was convicted last year of lying to investigators and using excessive force …


  • Wed., Nov. 14, 2012

    Thompson sentencing in Otto Zehm case set for Thursday

    After living free for a year as attorneys argued for a new trial, former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. will learn his punishment for using excessive force and …


  • Sat., Nov. 3, 2012

    Thompson divorce under feds’ scrutiny

    The divorce that enabled former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to charge taxpayers more than half a million dollars for his legal defense against excessive force charges is …


  • Sat., Nov. 3, 2012

    Vestal: Nothing is clear-cut in Thompson sentencing

    How much time should Karl Thompson spend in prison? How much would be “sufficient but not greater than necessary,” as the law requires?


  • Thu., Nov. 1, 2012

    Zehm plaque placed at Mission Park in ceremony on his birthday

    Wrapped in a blanket under gray skies, Ann Zehm reached out to touch the metal plaque placed at Mission Park to honor her son, Otto, on what would have been …


  • Wed., Oct. 24, 2012

    Zehm detective feared reaction to video

    Previously sealed records show that the lead Spokane Police detective investigating an officer’s confrontation with Otto Zehm believed the convenience store security video of the incident would be “inflammatory” if …


  • Wed., Oct. 17, 2012

    Zehm family tells judge of loss

    Otto Zehm’s mother fears going outside of her assisted-living home because of what Spokane police did to her only son, according to letters released Tuesday in federal court. Otto Zehm’s …


  • Fri., Oct. 12, 2012, 3:48 p.m.

    Attorney seeks no jail for Thompson

    The attorney for Karl F. Thompson Jr. asked a federal judge today to give the decorated former Spokane Police Officer a “just” sentence that includes no imprisonment.


  • Sat., Oct. 6, 2012

    Prosecutors seek 10 years

    Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge late Friday to sentence former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to 10 years in federal prison for using excessive force on Otto …


  • Fri., Oct. 5, 2012, 8:50 p.m.

    Feds seek 10 years in prison for Thompson

    Federal prosecutors asked a federal judge late today to sentence former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. to 10 years in federal prison for using excessive force on Otto …


  • Sun., Sept. 23, 2012

    Officers cleared in every case of excessive force since 2007

    Internal affairs investigators for the Spokane Police Department have sided with officers accused of brutality and excessive force in every single complaint filed by citizens over the past five years, …


  • Sat., Sept. 22, 2012

    Judge sets Thompson sentencing for Nov. 15

    Former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. will finally be sentenced, more than a year after he was convicted of using excessive force and lying about his confrontation with …


  • Fri., Sept. 21, 2012, 10:59 a.m.

    Thompson sentencing set for Nov. 15

    U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle today reset the sentencing date for former Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. for 9 a.m. on Nov. 15. It comes more …


  • Wed., Sept. 19, 2012

    Former officer Thompson’s request for new trial rejected

    A federal judge refused Tuesday to order a new trial for former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr., saying last year’s convictions for beating an unarmed janitor in 2006 …


  • UPDATED: Tue., Sept. 18, 2012, 2:28 p.m.

    Judge denies new trial for Thompson

    A federal judge has denied the motion for a new trial for convicted former Spokane Police officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.


  • Sat., Sept. 1, 2012

    Zehm defense presents case for retrial

    Carl Oreskovich argued Friday that former Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. should receive a new trial because federal prosecutors hid information from the defense that could have won …

Audio

Blogposts


  • Wed., Dec. 14, 2011, 4 p.m.

    Tucker disputes recall effort’s claims

    Prosecutor Steve Tucker said Tuesday that he sees nothing in a petition to recall him except “rumors and hearsay, and ‘facts’ that are not true.” The petition for a recall …


  • Wed., Dec. 7, 2011, 8 a.m.

    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 …


  • Tue., Nov. 22, 2011, noon

    City Council rebukes Thompson salute

    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 …


  • Tue., Nov. 22, 2011, 11:34 a.m.

    Why Verner lost: Part 3: Otto Zehm

    It’s hard to imagine how Mayor Mary Verner could have lost so much ground between the primary and the November election without concerns about the Otto Zehm case eating at …


  • Fri., Nov. 18, 2011, 3:11 p.m.

    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 …


  • Thu., Nov. 17, 2011, 3:32 p.m.

    Tim Moses resigns as police spokesman

    Spokane police Officer Tim Moses has resigned as a public information officer at the advice of his lawyer. Moses, who told jurors at Karl Thompson’s trial that the FBI intimidated …


  • Wed., Nov. 16, 2011, 6 a.m.

    Thompson juror alleges ‘police coverup’

    The forewoman of the jury that convicted Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. said none of the jurors brought information to deliberations that they picked up from media reports, …


  • Tue., Nov. 15, 2011, 10 a.m.

    Chief: ‘Silent majority needs to stand up’

    Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson outside the federal courthouse in Yakima on Nov. 2 with (from left) his lawyer, Carl Oreskvocih, and Spokane Police Guild Vice President John Gately. (SRPhoto/Chris …


  • Mon., Nov. 14, 2011, 9 a.m.

    Steve Tucker mum on Otto Zehm case

    Ten days after a jury convicted Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. in federal court, Spokane County Prosecutor Steve Tucker has given no indication that he will move forward in state …


  • Wed., Nov. 9, 2011, 12:48 p.m.

    Verner tells KXLY radio that Zehm, water rate campaign issues ‘don’t have a lot of substance’

    Mayor Mary Verner’s interview last night with Mike Fitzsimmons on KXLY 920 AM has been making the rounds on Twitter today. And it’s worth a listen. Here’s some of what …


  • Wed., Nov. 9, 2011, 9:50 a.m.

    Vestal: A New View Of Karl Thompson

    Karl Thompson looked like a whole new man. When he walked into the federal courtroom Monday, he wore yellow jailhouse garb – the blousy top a shade darker than the …


  • Tue., Nov. 8, 2011, 8:05 a.m.

    Thompson Free Until Sentencing

    A judge ruled late Monday to release convicted Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. and could rule as early as this morning whether to bring in jurors for questioning …


  • Mon., Nov. 7, 2011, 8 p.m.

    What did Thompson jurors see on TV?

    An investigator with the U.S. Attorney’s Office contacted Northwest Cable News last week to find out what five jurors could have seen if they were exposed to coverage of the …


  • Mon., Nov. 7, 2011, 5:24 p.m.

    Judge in Zehm warns against outbursts

    On the heels of a Spokane police officer yelling “PRESENT ARMS” as law enforcement Karl Thompson left court with U.S. Marshals Friday, a federal judge warned that such outbursts won’t …


  • Sat., Nov. 5, 2011, 12:20 a.m.

    Zehm Verdict Shocks Alternate Juror?

    Snickers candy bars, flowers and 2 liter bottles of Pepsi Cola are left curb-side Friday in front of the Zip Trip, on Division at Augusta, where Otto Zehm was beaten …


  • Fri., Nov. 4, 2011, 8 p.m.

    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 …


  • Fri., Nov. 4, 2011, 4:05 p.m.

    Thompson supporters express outrage

    Snickers candy bars, flowers and 2-liter bottles of Pepsi were left curbside today in front of the Zip Trip on Division at Augusta, where Otto Zehm lost consciousness during a …


  • Fri., Nov. 4, 2011, 12:59 p.m.

    Spokane Cops Salute Karl Thompson

    Some four dozen Spokane Police officers and other supporters stood when someone yelled “Present Arms” and saluted Thompson as he was led away by U.S. Marshals without being handcuffed. As …


  • Fri., Nov. 4, 2011, 11:50 a.m.

    Karl Thompson Taken Into Custody

    A federal judge in Yakima ordered Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. taken into custody this morning following his conviction on charges of using excessive force and lying to …


  • Thu., Nov. 3, 2011, 12:54 p.m.

    Feds hint at broader problems with SPD

    Could a broader federal probe of the Spokane Police Department be under way? Although U.S. Attorney Mike Ormsby joined other community leaders Wednesday in cautioning against drawing too many conclusions …

Documents


  • SPD deposition 06 - Officer Ronald Voelllner

    Deposition of Spokane police Officer Ronald Voelllner filed by the City of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 07 - Officer Daniel Strassenberg

    Deposition of Spokane police Officer Daniel Strassenberg filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 08 - Sgt. Daniel Torok

    Deposition of Spokane police Sgt. Daniel Torok filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 09 - Lt. Joseph Walker

    Deposition of Spokane police Lt. Joseph Walker filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 10 - Detective Larry Bowman

    Deposition of Spokane police Detective Larry Bowman filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 11 - Cpl. Ty Johnson

    Deposition of Spokane police Cpl. Ty Johnson filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 12 - Garv Brakel

    Deposition of Garv Brakel, Spokane police management information systems director, filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 13 - Jody Dewey

    Deposition of Jody Dewey, Sheriff’s Office forensic specialist, filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 14 - Detective Terry Ferguson

    Deposition of Spokane police Detective Terry Ferguson filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • SPD deposition 15 - Retired Lt. James Lundgren

    Deposition of retired Spokane police Lt. James Lundgren filed by the city of Spokane in the Otto Zehm civil case.


  • U.S. witness notice 01

    Witness notice filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Otto Zehm criminal case covering the qualifications and expected testimony of Spokane County Medical Examiner Sally Aiken and other medical experts to discuss Zehm’s injuries.


  • U.S. witness notice 02

    Witness notice filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Otto Zehm criminal case covering Robert Bragg and other experts in police training, who are expected to talk about the proper use of a baton by an officer confronting a suspect.


  • U.S. witness notice 03

    A witness notice filed by the U.S. attorney’s office in the Otto Zehm criminal case for Grant Fredricks, a videographer, and other forensic experts who are expected to testify that Office Karl F. Thompson Jr.’s confrontation with Zehm in the ZipTrip was different than police described.


  • Motion to stay in Zehm civil case

    United States motion to stay civil case in the death of Otto Zehm. Filed Sept. 14, 2009.


  • Memorandum in support of motion for Zehm stay

    Document filed by the United States in support of its motion for a stay in the civil suit filed in the death of Otto Zehm. On page 24, the memo reads, “The United States has demonstrated that it has a continuing investigation about other possible federal obstruction offenses and that this investigation conceivable includes one or more of the other Defendants named in this civil suit.”


  • Court records filed in Otto Zehm case

    Memorandum in support of United States motion to compel defendant Karl F. Thompson’s reciprocal discovery. Dated Aug. 31, 2009.


  • Police ombudsman position

    City of Spokane description of the new police ombudsman position. Facts and FAQ.


  • City increased pay authorization for Carl Oreskovich

    May 14, 2009, Spokane City Council resolution authorizing an increase in money set aside to pay attorney Carl Oreskovich for his representation in the lawsuit filed by the family of Otto Zehm.


  • City payment authorization for Carl Oreskovich

    Oct. 20, 2008, Spokane City Council resolution on using attorney Carl Oreskovich as special counsel in the civil lawsuit brought by the family of Otto Zehm.


  • Carl Oreskovich billing in Zehm suit

    Attorney Carl Oreskovich’s billing to the city of Spokane for his services in the civil lawsuit brought by the family of Otto Zehm.

Videos

Timelines