WA supreme court hearing death penalty appeal

WA supreme court hearing death penalty appeal

Credit: KING 5 News

WA supreme court hearing death penalty appeal

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by KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on June 27, 2013 at 10:11 AM

Updated Thursday, Jun 27 at 2:02 PM

The Basics

  • The Washington State Supreme Court is hearing the King County Prosecutor's appeal of the ruling that removed the death penalty in the case against Christopher Monfort, who is accused of killing a Seattle police officer
  • In February, the death penalty was tossed out on the grounds that the prosecutor hadn't fully investigated factors that could merit a life sentence for Monfort

 

The Washington State Supreme Court is hearing the King County Prosecutor's appeal today of a ruling that removed the death penalty in the case against accused cop-killer Christopher Monfort.

In February, King County Superior Court judge Ronald Kessler tossed out the death penalty in the State v. Monfort case. The Chief Criminal Judge said King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg conducted a "flawed and minimalist" investigation into mitigating factors that could merit a life sentence for Monfort.

After the ruling, Satterberg released a statement saying, "The prosecution gave the defense team ten months to provide mitigation information, which is nine months longer than state law requires. In the absence of any information from the defense, the prosecution considered all available mitigating information and decided it was not sufficient to merit leniency."

Satterberg went on to say that the defense still had not provided evidence of mitigation more than three years after the arraignment date.

By the end of 2012, the public defenders had spent $2.32 million on Monfort's case -- more than five times the $445,000 that the King County Prosecutor's Office has spent so far on the case.

Monfort is charged with killing Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton in an ambush and attempted murder of Brenton's partner, Brit Sweeney.

On Halloween night 2009, Brenton had made a traffic stop in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood when Monfort drove alongside the patrol car and opened fire, investigators said.

According to investigators, Monfort was engaged in a "one-man war" against Seattle police.

Police also said Monfort had been preparing to make a last stand at his Tukwila apartment complex when detectives shot and arrested him. Monfort was paralyzed by the gunshots that hit him when he was resisting arrest.

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