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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Karl Thompson released from prison

Former Spokane police officer Karl Thompson has been released from federal prison after being convicted of using excessive force against developmentally disabled janitor Otto Zehm, who died two days after a confrontation with Thompson.

Shawn Vestal: Video expert from Zehm case was wrong pick for review of bike incident

When police officers investigating the death of a teenager killed in an encounter with a speeding Spokane County deputy needed an expert to analyze video footage, they made an unusual choice: the guy accused of whitewashing the infamous Otto Zehm videos. That’s the bad news. The good news, so far as it goes, is that once concerns were raised about “credibility problems” with the work of Grant Fredericks, the owner of Spokane-based Forensic Video Solutions, the brass ordered a separate review, according to investigative files released last week.

U.S. Supreme Court declines to hear ex-police officer’s appeal of Zehm case conviction

Former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson Jr.’s legal battle to overturn his conviction in the 2006 death of Otto Zehm ended at the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. The nation’s highest court declined to hear Thompson’s appeal, which argued that the Yakima jury that convicted him of civil rights violations heard evidence that legally should have been withheld. That evidence concerned the crime Thompson suspected Zehm of committing before the fatal encounter.

Spokane councilman Mike Fagan tries to halt police pact

Spokane City Councilman Mike Fagan unsuccessfully attempted to derail an employment contract agreement between the city and the police leadership union Monday night, saying “citizens still hold a grudge” against police for recent misconduct. The council was considering a five-year collective bargaining deal with the Spokane Police Lieutenants and Captains Association. The agreement is largely in line with a deal struck with the Police Guild earlier this year, according to Council President Ben Stuckart.

Doug Clark: Thompson verdict is the gift that keeps on taking

Think of the post-conviction phase of Karl Thompson as a big, colorful piñata that his Scheme Team defenders get to whack and whack at until it finally bursts open and a new trial spills out. And the worst part of this bad dream?

Karl Thompson’s conviction upheld in Otto Zehm death

A federal appeals court panel on Tuesday upheld the conviction of former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges denied claims by Thompson’s attorneys that courtroom errors following the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm justified sending the case back for a new trial.

Appeals court upholds Karl Thompson’s conviction in death of Otto Zehm

A federal appeals court panel has upheld the conviction of former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson. The three judges ruled that Thompson doesn’t deserve a new trial in the 2006 beating death of Otto Zehm, and denied claims by his attorneys that courtroom errors should send the case back for a new trial.

Karl Thompson appeal argued in court

Attorneys for imprisoned former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson argued Monday that prosecutors did not turn over important evidence before trial. Defense attorney Carl Oreskovich told the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Seattle that the evidence could have been used to attack conclusions drawn by use-of-force witnesses in the 2006 death of Otto Zehm.

Nicks’ badge reflected honor in Zehm case

As former Spokane police Officer Tim Moses accepts his slap on the hand for the lie known as the Lunge of Otto, it’s worth remembering the local police officer who paid a price in the Zehm case that was far more than he owed: Jim Nicks. Nicks was the acting chief of police on the night of Zehm’s beating, and Moses helped hang a big, bright lie around his neck: Otto had lunged at Officer Karl Thompson, Moses said. Nicks turned around and told that to the public. He was also the one who eventually corrected that publicly, as well, but he bore most of the public – and media – attention for the misstatement and became for many the face of a corrupt response to Zehm’s death.

Thompson won’t pay for Zehm restitution

A federal judge rejected demands that former Spokane police Officer Karl Thompson Jr. pay $825,000 in restitution to taxpayers and the family of Otto Zehm. Thompson is imprisoned in Safford, Ariz. A jury convicted him of using excessive force and lying to investigators about the death of Zehm, an unarmed janitor.

Input sought on use of force report

Several community members on Wednesday thanked the city of Spokane’s Use of Force Commission for months of work, and police Chief Frank Straub said he and Mayor David Condon will soon announce plans to implement suggested changes in the police department. The commission held the first of two public hearings to comment on 26 recommendations it made Dec. 20. The report is part of Condon’s stated goal of restoring community trust in the department following the conviction of former Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr. for using excessive force and lying to investigators about his 2006 confrontation with Otto Zehm.

Doug Clark: Professor Pilgrim is back for another round

Drop your forks, folks, and make ready for the sixth annual serving of Ask Professor Pilgrim. Since 2006, this forum has been devoted to answering Thanksgiving questions that an Iron Chef wouldn’t touch with a 12-foot weenie skewer.