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Originally published Monday, June 13, 2011 at 4:27 PM

$1.1 million spent so far on Monfort's defense

King County has spent more than $1.1 million on the defense of Christopher Monfort since he was arrested in October 2009 for allegedly killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton and wounding a rookie officer.

Seattle Times staff reporter

quotes If only the arresting officers' had been more precise in their shooting.... Read more
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King County has spent more than $1.1 million on the defense of Christopher Monfort since he was arrested in October 2009 for allegedly killing Seattle police Officer Timothy Brenton and wounding a rookie officer.

The figure was released Monday by the county's Office of Public Defense after Monfort's legal team lost a bid to keep the amount under seal.

In court last month, defense attorney Stacey MacDonald argued that release of the information would violate her client's constitutional right to a fair trial, even though the funds are paid for by the county.

King County Superior Court Judge Ronald Kessler, who had initially sealed the records, unsealed them after a lawyer for The Seattle Times argued for their release.

MacDonald said she would file an appeal, but the Office of Public Defense said Monday that an appeal was not filed.

On Monday, V. David Hocraffer, who heads the Office of Public Defense, released the aggregate sum.

In an email to The Times, Hocraffer said that since Monfort's arrest, the county has paid the Associated Counsel for the Accused, which has had several of its lawyers assigned to the case, $826,744 for "legal services." Hocraffer said that an additional $309,513 has been spent on "services other than a lawyer" in the case — which could be medical evaluations, investigators or anything else deemed necessary for effective assistance of counsel.

The money spent on public defense comes from the county's general fund.

A spokesman for the King County Prosecuting Attorney's Office said Monday he could not determine how much its office has spent on the case.

In comparison, King County has spent about $1.7 million on defense costs for Michele Anderson and more than $1.5 million on the defense of Joseph McEnroe. The two are accused of killing six members of Anderson's family in Carnation on Christmas Eve 2007. They could face the death penalty if convicted of aggravated murder.

Monfort, 42, is charged with aggravated murder and also could face the death penalty if convicted. He is also charged with attempted first-degree murder in the wounding of Officer Britt Sweeney on Oct. 31, 2009. A trial date in his case has not been set.

Police and prosecutors say Monfort had intentionally targeted officers while they were on patrol in the Leschi neighborhood. On Nov. 6, 2009, the day of Brenton's memorial service, a team of detectives was directed to a Tukwila apartment complex where a tipster reported seeing a car believed to have been in the area where the officer was slain.

As detectives approached the car, Monfort appeared, pulled a handgun and pointed it at Seattle police Sgt. Gary Nelson. Monfort's weapon misfired, however, and he was shot in the face and abdomen by police when he tried to flee, according to prosecutors.

When police later searched Monfort's apartment, they say, they found an arsenal of guns, explosives and a manifesto on police brutality.

Monfort is also accused and charged in connection with the firebombing of four police cruisers at a city maintenance yard on Oct. 22, 2009. Investigators found an unexploded device that was intended to detonate as police and firefighters responded to the initial blaze. Nobody was hurt.

Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 Information from Seattle Times archives is included in this report.

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