Young witness, now 14, returns for Thompson sentencing

"We watched a police officer murder someone in front of us."

Author: Colleen O'Brien, Reporter / Weekend Anchor, colleeno@kxly.com
Published On: Nov 16 2012 12:06:27 PM PST
Britni Brashers Zehm tazing witness
SPOKANE, Wash. -

In a Zip Trip convenience store surveillance video showing the confrontation between Otto Zehm and Karl Thompson, two young girls were seen witnessing the incident. On Thursday one of those girls witnessed Thompson get sent to prison.

When you watch the Zip Trip surveillance video, most eyes are straining to see what's happening between Zehm and Thompson. What you may not notice, at the bottom of the screen, are two little girls witnessing the entire confrontation.

The reaction of the 7-year-old girl, who covered her ears, was used by the prosecution to illustrate the screams likely coming from Zehm as he was tazed.

Now, six years later, those two girls were in court for the sentencing, still traumatized by what they saw.

"We have nightmares all the time and I can't trust cops, like if I'm being chased by a murderer I'm not going to call and have them come kill me I mean really," Britni Brashers said.

The distrust runs deep for Brashers, the 7-year-old girl in the surveillance video -- now 14 -- who watched it all.

"It affected us a lot, we didn't just watch someone arrest someone, we watched a police officer murder someone in front of us," Britni said.

Both Britni and her older sister Maranda think Thompson should have received more prison time.

"I believe he should have gotten longer, at least to six years because that's how long we've been waiting for, too," Maranda Brashers said.

"It took six years for him to get four, like, that should say something right there, we've spent more time in court than he's going to spend in federal prison for murdering someone," Britni said.

The sisters say the closure in the case won't mean closure in their lives. They say they'll always struggle with what they saw and trusting police.