SPOKANE, Wash. -- One year ago Friday, former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson was sentenced to four years in prison for using excessive force and lying to investigators. Thompson’s attorney is still working to appeal his conviction.
Thompson was charged for beating Otto Zehm at a convenience store back in 2006 and trying to cover it up. Zehm later died.
Thompson’s attorney Carl Oreskovich started working on an appeal as soon as the conviction was made.
“If they result in a reversal and a new trial we have a man who has been in prison who shouldn’t have been there in the first instance,” said Oreskovich.
Thompson has been in federal prison in Arizona since December 17, 2012. Staff at the prison told KREM 2 News we could not know about Thompson’s conduct and if he has behaved himself behind bars because it is protected by a privacy act.
The prison is a low security facility. An inmate with good behavior could move to a minimum security camp. It would appear Thompson either has not asked for the transfer or has not been granted one.
Federal prosecutors responded to Thompson’s appeal 10 days ago. Last year, they made it clear they believed he needed to be in prison. Thompson's attorney has to reply by next week, but Oreskovich told KREM 2 News he will ask for an extension. He hopes to have oral arguments and a hearing before the ninth circuit court of appeals in Seattle in the spring of 2014.
Thompson is set to be released from prison in July 2016.