Local news

Thompson lawyer alleges jury misconduct

A federal judge today put off the decision to detain Spokane Police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. after his defense attorney said he will seek a new trial.

U.S. Magistrate Judge James Hutton said he will delay his ruling until 10 a.m. Friday after federal prosecutors sought to detain Thompson following his Wednesday conviction for a violent crime, the attack of Otto Zehm. Thompson was also convicted of lying to cover it up.

Thompson declined comment, but his attorney Carl Oreskovich said he witnessed jurors watching TV reports of the trial, which will become a part of a motion to seek a new trial from U.S. District Court Judge Fred Van Sickle.

“These two convictions … are an absolute abberation in a lifetime of upholding the law,” Oreskovich said.

When asked why he, as an officer of the court, didn’t immediately inform Van Sickle of his witnessing jurors watch TV reports at the hotel, Oreskovich said: “I’m not going to deal with that.”

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