SPOKANE – New unsealed court documents reveal what one juror was thinking when the jury convicted former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson in the Otto Zehm beating.
Thompson was convicted of excessive force and lying to investigators in November 2011. He was the lead officer in 2006 when Spokane Police beat, tased, and forcibly restrained Zehm inside a convenience store. Zehm died two days later.
Thompson is still out of custody as his attorneys battle for an acquittal or new trial.
In the nine months since the trial, the jurors who convicted Thompson have been scrutinized. An alternate juror brought his concerns of misconduct to Thompson’s defense.
Three jurors, two women and one man, were interviewed behind closed doors. The transcripts of those interviews are still sealed, but court documents show those jurors were questioned about who they talked with before and after the trial.
Thompson’s defense is alleging juror misconduct, but one juror fired back with a letter to his attorneys.
In the letter, the juror stands by the conviction. “The defense legal team’s use of defensive tactics such as attacking and blaming the jurors for an outcome they do not like reprehensible,” the letter states. “Mr. Thompson was tried and found guilty by a fair, honest, and intelligent jury of his peers.