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Judge denies new trial for Thompson

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

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

Judge Fred Van Sickle ruled today against the motion for a new trial. A sentencing date has not yet been set, but now that the court has denied all post-trial motions, Van Sickle will likely issue an order sometime this week scheduling sentencing, which could take place months from now.

In the meantime, Thompson will remain free. At sentencing, he will either be taken into custody, will be allowed to self report to prison, or will be allowed to remain free pending appeals.

Thompson’s lawyer, Carl Oreskovich, argued on Aug. 31 that Thompson should receive a new trial because federal prosecutors hid information from the defense that could have won his acquittal.

Thompson was convicted by a federal jury in Yakima in November of using excessive force and lying to investigators in the violent 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm, a mentally ill janitor mistakenly identified as a possible thief. Zehm died two days after being beaten, tasered and hog-tied by police in a Spokane convenience store.

This story is developing and will be updated.

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