Should Thompson be granted an appeal?
SEATTLE, Wash. -- Attorneys for former Spokane Police Department officer Karl Thompson appeared before the US Court of Appeals in Seattle on Monday morning to appeal his conviction.
Thompson is serving a four-year sentence in federal prison. He was convicted in 2012 by a federal jury of using excessive force and lying to investigators in 2011 about the beating death of Otto Zehm.
Thompson’s attorney Carl Oreskovich started working on an appeal as soon as the conviction was made.
In court Monday, Oreskovich argued for a new trial and alleged jury misconduct for one of the reasons. Both sides also discussed the threat of the pop bottle Zehm was holding the night he was killed.
The defense claimed a prosecution expert who reviewed the video saw things their own way. The defense claimed the prosecution expert said the video showed some consistencies with Thompson’s story. The defense said they were never notified of that. The prosecution expert never ended up taking the stand at Thompson’s trial.
“It would have changed the trial strategy judge. The government got up 17 times in their opening arguments. It was strike first and ask questions later, the ability for me to get up and say, ‘what the prosecutors didn't tell you are their own experts don't agree on that interpretation of the video,’” said Oreskovich.
The defense believed the video could have played a much bigger role. They said the interpretations of Thompson’s baton strikes could have been a game changer. Prosecutors said Thompson was his own worst enemies and his discrepancies in his story were what did him in.
“The government did not provide that info to us prior to trial, that deprived Mr. Thompson of a fair trial,” said Oreskovich.
WATCH: Court picks at Karl Thompson's case
The appeal was in the hands of the ninth circuit of appeals on Monday. If the court threw out the appeal, Thompson would likely be released from federal prison in July of 2016.