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In brief: Council denounces salute of Thompson

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 out of a hearing on his way to jail after being found guilty of two felony charges related to the police confrontation with Otto Zehm, a Spokane man who died as a result of injuries he suffered in the confrontation in 2006.

The nonbinding resolution, which was sponsored by Councilman Jon Snyder, also voiced support for the creation of a citizens’ panel, led by a former Gonzaga Law School dean, to examine the city’s handling of the legal matters associated with the case and Verner’s request to the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the Police Department’s policies and procedures.

Jonathan Brunt

Gasoline attack leads to husband’s arrest

An unemployed Dalton Gardens man allegedly doused his wife with gasoline and tried to light her on fire during a dispute at their home last weekend.

Daniel Joe Zehm, 52, was taken into custody by Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies following an altercation that began Saturday night and culminated with the alleged attempt to incinerate Sondra Zehm, 58.

According to sheriff’s reports, the argument began when Daniel Zehm told his wife he thought a nurse at his mother’s assisted living facility was attractive.

Zehm was arrested on an attempted murder charge, but it was dismissed Monday in Kootenai County District Court. He was released from jail on $200,000 for felony charges of burglary and aggravated battery.

Staff reports

Driver in fatal crash pleads not guilty

A Spokane woman who authorities say was driving the wrong way on Interstate 90 when she struck and killed a 27-year-old motorist from Post Falls in March pleaded not guilty Monday to vehicular homicide and vehicular assault. 

Teri Marie Scheele, 30, told police she had taken an oxycodone pill and “a couple” of hydrocodone pills before the three-car crash on March 25 about 3:10 a.m. at milepost 293 in the eastbound lanes under the Barker Road overpass, according to court documents.

Kenneth Joel Hardin was pronounced dead at Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Scheele is out of custody awaiting trial, which her public defender, Derek Reid, said is scheduled to begin Feb. 13.

Meghann M. Cuniff


 

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