Victim attorneys seek earlier trial

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Associated Press

Posted on July 9, 2010 at 10:51 AM

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — Attorneys for a disabled man who died after a violent encounter with Spokane police are asking a federal judge to set an earlier date for the criminal trial of Spokane police Officer Karl F. Thompson Jr.

Thompson’s trial was originally set to begin on June 7. But federal prosecutors at the last minute decided to appeal a judge's decision barring the presentation of evidence that victim Otto Zehm had not committed a crime.

Trial is set for March, almost five years after Zehm was confronted by Thompson after two women erroneously claimed he had taken their money from a cash machine. Thompson struck and stunned Zehm and Zehm was hogtied for about 17 minutes until he stopped breathing.

Thompson faces charges of using excessive force and lying to investigators.

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

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