Thompson's defense files motion for acquittal


by & Katie Utehs

Posted on November 17, 2011 at 11:09 AM

Updated Saturday, Nov 23 at 7:13 AM

SPOKANE-- Officer Karl Thompson's defense team has filed a motion for acquittal.

Thompson was convicted of excessive force and lying to investigators earlier this month.
The motion was filed just before Karl Thompson's last day with the Spokane Police Department. He resigned earlier this week and his last day was Thursday.

Defense attorneys are asking the judge to acquit Officer Karl Thompson of his first charge excessive force.

They say "the government failed to prove that he willfully deprived Otto Zehm of his right to be free from excessive force."
They argue that just because Thompson may have violated training when using his baton and taser on Zehm "a violation of training or policy simply does not establish criminal evil intent."
Jurors were told by prosecutors if they found any of the baton strikes excessive they could convict Thompson.

The lead juror Diane Riley says they decided quickly on the excessive force charge.

Thompson’s defense writes, "The government failed to offer any evidence of bad or evil purpose, therefore, failed to establish the essential elements of the crime."

The judge scheduled a hearing date of December 19th to hear arguments for acquittal. He has not ruled on if he'll allow defense attorneys to interview jurors.