SPOKANE, Wash.-- Court documents filed today in the Karl Thompson criminal case show exactly what two jurors may have seen on TV before the verdict was reached. Thompson's defense attorneys allege jurors saw a ticker on Northwest Cable News describing Zehm as "mentally ill."
Northwest Cable News is owned by Belo, which also owns KREM 2.
According to NWCN Executive News Director Wayne Lynch the tickers read as follows:
"Jurors deliberated briefly yesterday after attorneys wrapped up closing arguments in the trial of a Spokane police officer accused of excessive force in the beating death of mentally ill man. The jury will continue deliberations today."
"A federal grand jury in Yakima will continue deliberations Wednesday in the trial of a Spokane police officer. Officer Karl Thompson is accused of using excessive force against a suspect who died. If convicted of violating civil rights and lying to investigators, Thompson could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison."
The U.S. Attorney's office says there's no evidence jurors saw the screen. They oppose the defense's request to interview jurors.
Included in Thursday's filing is the note jurors sent to the judge asking for more information about Zehm. To read the note click here.
Thompson's attorneys also attached an e-mail they say an alternate juror sent their office concerning the verdict. To read the letter click here.