Christopher Monfort death penalty decision due by June 15

Again a little dated (December 29), but another mainstream media story with an update on the trial of Christopher Monfort in Seattle, accused of firebombing police vehicles and killing a police officer.  From the Seattle Times:

King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg will decide by June 15 whether to seek the death penalty against the man accused of killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton on Halloween night. Defense attorneys for Christopher Monfort had asked for the delay so they can prepare information in opposition to the death penalty for their client.

The decision came this morning during a hearing to determine when Satterberg would announce whether to seek the death penalty against Monfort, who is charged with killing Brenton and wounding his partner Britt Sweeney on Halloween night.

Monfort was dressed in a white jail “ultra security” uniform during the hearing.

Julie Lawry, who is representing Monfort, has said that the defense plans to prepare a mitigation package that will outline reasons why Monfort should not be considered for the death penalty. Satterberg said he will be available to meet with defense attorneys on June 1, in advance of his decision.

Monfort has been charged with one count of aggravated murder, three counts of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree arson. The arson charge and one of the counts of attempted murder stem from the Oct. 22 firebombing of four Seattle police vehicles at a city maintenance yard. The only penalties possible for an aggravated-murder conviction are execution or life in prison without parole.

On Dec. 14, Monfort pleaded not guilty to all the charges against him. By law, Satterberg had a month after that arraignment to decide on the penalty, but agreed this morning to delay the decision.

Brenton, 39, and Sweeney, 33, were seated in their parked patrol car shortly after 10 p.m. on Oct. 31 when police say that Monfort drove up next to the officers and opened fire. Brenton was killed immediately, and Sweeney suffered minor injuries.

On the day of Monfort’s arrest, three Seattle homicide detectives confronted him at his Tukwila apartment. Charging documents say he twice aimed a gun at officers before police shot him, court documents said. He is paralyzed from the waist down.

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