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Deliberations in excessive force trial to continue

Tue., Nov. 1, 2011, 5:35 p.m.

YAKIMA – The jury deciding the excessive force trial of Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. deliberated about seven hours today without rendering a verdict.

Jurors asked today to re-hear the audio tape of Thompson’s March 22, 2006, statement he gave now retired Detective Terry Ferguson. Several jurors took notes as Thompson described his justifications for using force during the confrontation with Otto Zehm, who was mistakenly identified as a theft suspect and died after being beaten with police batons, shocked with Tasers and left hog-tied on a convenience store floor.

After hearing about an hour of the interview, the jurors left to resume their deliberations, then returned a half hour later to listen to the rest of the interview.

Thompson faces the felony charges of using unreasonable force and lying to investigators following the fatal March 18, 2006 encounter.

Jurors will return at 9 a.m. Wednesday for continued deliberations in the trial that started Oct. 12.

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