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Originally published Wednesday, January 21, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Man "happy to be out" after murder charge dropped

Glenn Proctor says he feels "real good" about his release last week from a King County jail, where he spent the past 11 months awaiting trial for a slaying he didn't commit.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Glenn Proctor spent the past 11 months in a King County jail waiting for his trial to begin. Accused of fatally shooting a woman at the Federal Way Transit Center last year, his trial was supposed to begin Tuesday.

Instead, Proctor was released late last week after King County dropped the second-degree-murder charges.

"I feel real good. I've been sitting in the same place for a long time, just trying to overcome," Proctor said Tuesday. "I was real passionate about getting released because I knew I could do it. It's unfortunate it took a year."

The 21-year-old said he plans to return to college and eventually start a company combining his interests in music, art and fashion.

Proctor was enrolled at Tacoma Community College last February when King County issued a warrant for his arrest.

He was at the Federal Way Transit Center in January 2008 when a woman, Dar'Rel Miller, was killed. Court documents said a witness claimed he saw Proctor pull a gun out of his coat, point it at him and fire. But the gunshot missed the man and struck Miller, a bystander.

Proctor's lawyers, private criminal-defense attorneys Diane Zumwalt and Mark Prothero, hired an investigator to review hours of video-surveillance tapes from Sound Transit. It took several months to clear up the images, but with a forensic videographer, they were able to prove through relative cranial measurements that Proctor was not the shooter.

They also used the video and cellphone photos to show that Proctor was wearing clothing different from the gunman's.

"We presented all of that to the prosecutors on Dec. 10. ... They looked at cellphone picture and looked at cranial measurements and said we can't prove our case and I think we've got the wrong guy," Prothero said.

Proctor declined to say whether he could identify the shooter. He also said he was not angry over his arrest.

"Acting angry is real negative," he said. "I'm trying to add positive things to my life, not take away."

He said he spent most of the past year at the Regional Justice Center in Kent working out and reading.

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"I looked at it as an investment," he said. "I definitely wish I could have avoided the whole situation. I never wanted anything like that to happen. That's not me. I'm not that kind of dude."

Zumwalt said she was impressed by Proctor's attitude as they investigated his case.

"Glenn was nothing but respectful throughout this process. He was patient. That says a lot about someone that's in this situation," Zumwalt said. "I also think that it goes to show how important the presumption of innocence is."

Proctor has not ruled out pursuing a wrongful-arrest lawsuit against the county, his lawyers said.

Proctor declined to say whether he would.

"I'll just put it this way. I'm just happy to be out," he said. "Keep your head to the sky. You can't look down trying to come up."

Sharon Pian Chan: 206-464-2958 or schan@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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