11/09/2009

Formal charges expected against alleged Seattle cop killer

Associated Press

SEATTLE — The man accused in the Halloween-night shooting death of a Seattle policeman remains hospitalized, and authorities were expected to talk more Monday about why they believe the suspect is a domestic terrorist who held a grudge against law enforcement.

Prosecutors plan to discuss formal charges against 41-year-old Christopher Monfort at a news conference later Monday, police spokesman Mark Jamieson said. King County prosecutors were preparing a potential death penalty charge, The Seattle Times reported.

Police also believe Monfort played a role in the Oct. 22 firebombings of four police vehicles.

Monfort was shot by detectives in the parking lot of his suburban Tukwila apartment complex on Friday. The detectives were pursuing a tip that a car at the complex matched the description of a vehicle seen nearby when officer Timothy Brenton was killed.

Authorities say the detectives opened fire after Monfort pulled a handgun.

Investigators found improvised explosive devices and two rifles at Monfort's home, Seattle Assistant Police Chief Jim Pugel said. No evidence has been found suggesting Monfort worked with others, Pugel said.

Brenton was sitting in a car Oct. 31 with rookie Officer Britt Sweeney following a traffic stop when shots were fired. Sweeney was grazed in the neck.

The shooting between detectives and Monfort on Friday happened as a memorial service for Brenton was finishing at Seattle's KeyArena.

Monfort arrived at a Seattle hospital in critical condition with "multiple injuries" and underwent hours of surgery Friday night. He remained in serious condition Sunday.

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