SPOKANE— The former Spokane police officer convicted of using excessive force in the beating death of Otto Zehm was denied an acquittal Monday.
Monday morning a federal judge upheld Karl Thompson’s conviction for excessive force and lying to investigators.
Thompson’s defense team had filed a motion for acquittal on the excessive force charge.
The judge gave each side a 20-minute limit on their arguments for the acquittal motion of count 1, excessive force.
Thompson's defense argued he should be acquitted because prosecutors failed to prove he acted willfully and with a bad purpose or intent when he confronted Zehm. That argument was made repeatedly during the three week trial.
The prosecution said that court cases cited by the defense do not apply.
The judge upheld Thompson’s conviction of excessive force and lying to investigators saying "a reasonable jury could find the defendant acted willfully."
Thompson was convicted on November 2nd.
The defense lost the acquittal attempt, but may still file a motion for a new trial.
Thompson is scheduled to be sentenced on January 27th. He is currently out of custody.
Thompson’s defense team had no comment as they left court this morning.
The Zehm family was present at Monday's hearing, along with Thompson supporters.