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Judge postpones Thompson’s criminal trial by a few days

U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle today postponed a few days the criminal trial of Karl F. Thompson Jr. It is now scheduled to start with jury selection on June 7.

The trial was originally set to begin on Wednesday, but Van Sickle postponed the hearing to allow attorneys more time to argue a list of motions, which will decide the scope of evidence and witnesses who will be called in the trial that is expected to last up to a month.

Thompson faces felony charges of using excessive force and lying to investigators regarding his March 18, 2006, confrontation with Otto Zehm, a janitor with a mental illness who had committed no crime.

Thompson hit Zehm, 36, with a police baton, shocked him with a Taser and several more officers hogtied Zehm for 17 minutes before he stopped breathing. He never regained consciousness and died two days later.

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