Transcripts of interviews with Thompson jury released


by Katie Utehs &

Posted on August 9, 2012 at 11:26 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 9 at 5:41 PM

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SPOKANE— Jurors involved in the Karl Thompson case say they do not know of any misconduct that happened during the trial.

The jurors were interviewed about misconduct alleged by Thompson’s attorneys. About 70 pages of transcripts from those interviews have just been released.

Judge Van Sickle asked questions submitted by both sides during the interviews. He said he never had to question a jury like he did in this case.

The jurors say they discussed behavior of the witnesses and how hard it was to look at pictures of Otto Zehm. Thompson was convicted of excessive force and lying to investigators earlier this year after Zehm died.

Thompson’s attorneys say jurors discussed watching TV during the trial and talked about the news coverage in the hotel lobby. According to the transcripts, this never happened.

One of the jurors reportedly got emotional during the interview. The juror said when someone does something unconscionable, the person has to accept the consequences.

Others said they mostly kept to themselves. One described it as being in a cocoon because he couldn’t talk with anyone.

Another said, “Honestly, in my heart of hearts, I don’t think there was a single thing that was done wrong in my presence in that room.”

Judge Van Sickle said he's been a judge for over 35 years, and this is the first time it's ever occurred in any case  he's had.
There is a hearing scheduled for August to decide if Thompson will get an acquital or new trial.