SPOKANE, Wash – Newly released federal court documents are giving us our first look at how long Karl Thompson will spend in prison.
Thompson is a former Spokane Police officer who was convicted of using excessive force then lying about it to investigators in the 2006 beating death of an innocent man, Otto Zehm.
In the documents, prosecutors suggest a sentence of between 9 years and 11 years 3 months, with a preference for the longer sentence. They base that on several legal factors, including that it (1) was aggravated assault, (2) was committed with a deadly weapon, (3) resulted in serious bodily harm (death, in this case), (4) was committed under the ‘color of law' as a police officer, and (5) that Thompson obstructed justice by lying to investigators.
Additionally, prosecutors say Thompson should not get a reduction in sentence that may otherwise have been applicable if he would have taken responsibility for his actions or shown remorse. Prosecutors say Thompson hasn't.
Because of that, they say they're concerned about his mental health and want Thompson to undergo a mental health evaluation.
They're also asking the court to make Thompson reimburse the family of Otto Zehm for his medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses like funeral costs.
Thompson's defense team has yet to file their recommendation; they asked the judge for an extra week to file the appropriate paperwork.
Karl Thompson will be sentenced in federal court in downtown Spokane on November 15th.