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Former Spokane officer faces sentencing

By Erik Loney, KXLY4 Reporter , erikl@kxly.com
Published On: Nov 15 2012 06:42:33 AM CST
Updated On: Nov 15 2012 10:59:30 AM CST
Thompson Judgment Day
SPOKANE, Wash. -

Convicted Former Spokane police officer, Karl Thompson, will be sentenced in a federal courtroom Thursday morning. He faces up to 10 years in prison for his role in the death of Otto Zehm six years ago and for lying to investigators.

A Yakima jury found Thompson guilty of excessive force for a confrontation with Zehm in a Spokane convenience store in 2006.

In court documents, federal prosecutors argued for a 10-year sentence due to Thompson's "failure to meaningfully accept responsibility for his offense conduct...And the adverse impact he has had on the community's view of other outstanding, hardworking and honest law enforcement officers."

An evaluation by the court suggests Thompson should get between two and three years.

Thompson's attorneys are asking for no jail time.

In court papers, Thompson's attorney wrote, "Thompson is a man of truly outstanding character whose convictions are an aberration when compared to a lifetime of earnest dedication to law enforcement. He has suffered the loss of his lifetime career and constant public humiliation."

Defense attorneys have asked the court "to impose a just and reasonable sentence, including the alternative of no imprisonment."

Judge Fred Van Sickle also has the option of part jail time, part home confinement.

Family members of both Zehm and Thompson are expected to speak in court Thursday, along with Thompson  himself.

The sentencing is scheduled to start at 9 a.m. Thursday and is expected to last most of the day.

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