Jury deliberating in Spokane officer's trial
Monday, October 31, 2011
YAKIMA, Wash. (AP) -- A federal jury in Yakima has recessed for the day in its deliberations in the trial of a Spokane police officer. Officer Karl Thompson is accused of using excessive force against a suspect who died.
The case against Thompson went to jurors on Monday. They are to resume deliberations Wednesday morning.
If convicted of violating civil rights and lying to investigators, Thompson could be sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison.
Prosecutors say he beat 36-year-old Otto Zehm, who was mistakenly suspected of theft. Zehm stopped breathing and died after the 2006 encounter in a convenience store.
Thompson's defense lawyer says he followed his training to respond to a perceived threat.