Spokane officer to stand trial in deadly encounter

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Associated Press

Posted on April 26, 2010 at 7:20 PM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A Spokane police officer will stand trial in June in the deadly beating of a mentally ill janitor in 2006.

Karl F. Thompson Jr. lost a bid Tuesday to get a judge to throw out charges of lying to investigators over the confrontation. As a result, his trial will begin on June 2.

Thompson is accused of repeatedly striking Otto Zehm with a baton and Tasering him. City officials said the man menaced officers, and two women erroneously reported that Zehm stole money from them.

The medical examiner said the man essentially died from lack of oxygen to the brain due to heart failure while being restrained on his stomach.

Thompson is also charged with violating Zehm's civil rights.

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Information from: The Spokesman-Review, http://www.spokesman.com

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