Man convicted of killing Seattle police officer faces possibility of death penalty
SEATTLE — A King County jury on Friday convicted Christoper Monfort of killing Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton in 2009.
Family and friends of Brenton have been waiting for Friday’s verdict for the past six years.
Minutes after being found guilty, Monfort offered his first apology to Brenton’s family.
“I am sorry for the family’s loss and the mother and children,” Monfort said.
The Superior Court jury found Monfort guilty on four counts, including first-degree murder and the attempted murder of Brenton's rookie partner Britt Kelly.
“She is so brave and such a wonderful officer and I just hope this provides her with some peace and closure,” Seattle Police Officers' Guild President Ron Smith said of Kelly.
Kelly was not in court for the verdict but during the trial she described dodging the bullets when Monfort opened fire on their patrol car.
“The next thing I remember was a really bright muzzle flash, a very loud noise and the smell of gun powder so fierce, sorry and pain all at once,” Kelly said.
Prosecutors convinced the jury Monfort was not insane when he killed Brenton -- just vengeful against police officers, wanting to kill as many as possible.
In 2009, Monfort firebombed police cruisers in a Seattle maintenance yard. Nine days later, he killed Brenton, a married father of two, someone he never knew.
“I can only imagine what it's been like to lose their son, their brother, I can’t imagine what that's like,” Smith said.
Brenton's family members and Monfort’s had no comment after the verdict.
But Smith says the verdict brought tears to his eyes,
“It’s been a long time coming and, again, I am so thankful my gratitude on behalf of my membership to this jury,” Smith said.
The penalty phase starts June 16 when Monfort will face the same jury that found him guilty. They will have to decide if he gets life in prison or death.