SPOKANE--Family and friends of Otto Zehm were in the courtroom Thursday as they waited for a judge to hand down a sentence for former Spokane Police Officer Karl Thompson.
It was hard for supporters of Zehm to hold back emotions as the addressed the court. Both family members and those who knew and worked with Zehm took a moment to share what this process has been like for them.
The first to speak on behalf of the victim were Dale and Sandy Zehm. Dale was Otto's cousin and said in part, "I want Karl Thompson to be held accountable for his actions, and I never want this to happen again."
Dale’s wife Sandy spoke after him and said, "Our family will heal, but the scars will remain forever." She added they didn't want revenge but justice for Otto.
Breean Beggs read a letter on behalf of Zehm's mother. She said she was too fearful to be in court. Mrs. Zehm's letter pointed out that Thompson would still get to see his family even if he went to prison but she will never see Otto again.
One of the most dramatic moments was when the mother of one of Otto's co-workers addressed the court. She told Thompson “shame on you for taking my daughter’s friend.”