Jury sentences convicted cop killer Christopher Monfort to life in prison

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SEATTLE — A jury quickly came to a decision Thursday sentencing a man convicted of killing a Seattle police officer in 2009 to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

A King County Superior Court jury reached a verdict Thursday after deliberating for about an hour.

Christopher Monfort was convicted last month of killing Officer Timothy Brenton, rejecting his insanity defense.

The jury also found him guilty of attempted murder for shooting Brenton’s partner, Britt Kelly.

The prosecutor has said Monfort ambushed the officers and called it a “cold-blooded assassination.”

Monfort’s attorney argued his life should be spared because of his mental illness, his difficult childhood and lack of a criminal record prior to the shooting.

Following the decision in court Thursday, Seattle’s mayor and police chief issued statements:

“Today’s sentencing of Christopher Monfort ends a horrifying chapter in the history of Seattle and its Police Department,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “I pray Officer Timothy Brenton’s family and loved ones can find some solace now that the sentencing phase has ended. I thank the men and women of the Seattle Police Department for their dedication and for putting themselves at risk every day to serve and protect the people of this city. I also commend the jury for its service.”

“Today’s verdict and life sentence of Christopher Monfort is a small measure of justice for our fallen brother, Officer Timothy Brenton,” said Seattle Police Chief Kathleen O’Toole. “We will never forget Tim’s smile, dedication, and friendship – and will hold these qualities dear as we protect and serve our city and each other.”

On Wednesday jurors thought they might hear directly from the convicted cop killer.

Though he never testified during his murder trial, Monfort’s lawyers insinuated he might be willing to speak on his behalf before jurors decide whether he receives the death penalty or life in prison.

Ultimately, Monfort decided not to talk. Still, prosecutors used his own words in court when they began arguing for the death penalty.

Prosecutor John Castleton played a jail house interview between a psychiatrist and Monfort.

When the doctor asked Monfort if he had any remorse for killing Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton, Monfort said, “No. I’m sorry it had to happen. I wish we didn’t have any police brutality. I wish I didn’t have to do anything. I’d much rather be doing other stuff.”

On Halloween night six years ago, Monfort opened fire on a patrol car, killing Brenton and wounding his partner, Britt Sweeney. Monfort had earlier firebombed vehicles at a city maintenance yard.

“His goal was to kill as many police officers as he could,” said Castleton. “His goal was to reign terror down on the city of Seattle and the Seattle Police Department.”

Monfort’s defense team urged jurors to spare him from the death penalty and consider his mental health, along with his rough childhood, when deciding his fate. They encouraged the jury to have mercy.

“If you want to give mercy, you can do so,” said Stacey MacDonald. “You can still sentence him to a life sentence, a harsh sentence, based on mercy alone.”

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  • USNavRET

    Well there is a shocker…….good ol’ King County, the land of liberals. This clown should have been hung a long time ago.

    Anyone remember when there was talk of splitting the state……king county can be it’s own state and have all the liberal idiots and the rest of the state can live happy.

    • Frank

      King County is one of the most corupt counties in the country…it even surpasses Cook county. The liberals will never give a death sentence to a cop killer. They in their twisted minds find killing a cop somewhat justified. If I was on the jury I would hasve been all for giving him the needle.

    • JMG

      Yes he definitely deserves to hang. Now he’ll be a burden on the state for the rest of his worthless life. Hopefully his fellow prisoners will give him an extra special welcome.

  • Sara

    I hate that some poor person has to be this a holes caregiver in prison. Should have killed him so nobody would have to. You know he taunts whoever has to care for him and if he gets bedsores the dick lawyers will sue for abuse meanwhile grandma gets them and nobody cares…

  • "peety"

    glad to see the jury had some common sense and saved the taxpayer millions. Death penalty it flawed and too expensive

  • hanging

    This state sucks, why waste the money keeping bastard alive. Waste of money. Like he didnt know what he was doing. The jury and state need to find some balls.

    • "peety"

      Life in Prison is cheaper than execution. Why would you want the family to have to go through years of appeals? The family can finally get closure now.