Juror: Comments after verdict misrepresented by Thompson legal team

Published On: Aug 07 2012 01:29:29 PM PDT   Updated On: Aug 07 2012 01:30:36 PM PDT
SPOKANE, Wash. -

A letter addressed to the presiding judge in the Karl Thompson case from one of the jurors who deliberated the case reiterated why the jury voted to convict the former police officer.

Thompson was convicted of using excessive force in the death of Spokane janitor Otto Zehm. The defense wants a new trial, saying some jurors watched news coverage during the trial and were exposed to material not allowed in court.

On Tuesday the court unsealed a letter from of those jurors, dated December 5, 2011 and addressed to Judge Fred Van Sickle, in which the individual stands by the verdict the jury reached.

She wrote, in part, that "Mr. Thompson cannot be allowed to stand above the very law he has taken an oath to uphold. Just because I and others feel sympathy and sadness for Mr. Thompson does not mean that the verdict we reached was invalid, contaminated or in any way compromised or unduly influenced."

The woman was also upset at feeling naïve in comments she made to members of the media which, she felt, were manipulated by Thompson's attorneys.

"My well intentioned words were offered in the hope they would spark a more positive dialogue between the SPD and Spokane citizens - but instead they are being misrepresented by Mr. Thompson's legal team to justify the filing for an acquittal," the woman wrote.

Thompson is not in custody right now. His sentencing is on hold while the court rules on other matters in the case.