Murdered officer’s partner takes stand, says ‘I felt I was absolutely being hunted’
SEATTLE — Police officer Britt Sweeney took the stand in the trial of an accused cop killer, offering emotional testimony to how she feared for her life as she and her partner, Tim Brenton, took gunfire in their patrol car.
“I felt I was absolutely being hunted,” Sweeney said of the shooting that left Brenton dead.
Christopher Monfort is accused of ambushing Brenton, 39, and Sweeney in their patrol car on Halloween night 2009. He pleaded not guilty to aggravated first-degree murder and attempted murder of Sweeney, who suffered non-life threatening gunshot wounds to the back and head.
If convicted, he could face the death penalty. He has pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity.
Monfort is also charged with arson in connection with a firebombing at a city maintenance facility. He was paralyzed from the waist down after he was shot by detectives investigating Brenton's killing.
Sweeney, a rookie officer in training the night of the shooting, fought back tears as she described the ambush.
"Bright muzzle flash, smell of gun powder so fierce," Sweeney said on the stand. "And at pain all at once."
Right after the shots were fired, Sweeney told jurors she was mad at Brenton for not stepping out of the patrol car and helping her return fire as Monfort allegedly took off in his car. It took more than a moment to dawn on her that Brenton was dead, she said.
"I looked into the windshield of the vehicle and realized Tim was done," Sweeney said, fighting back tears.
Monfort's defense attorney told Sweeney they were sorry for what she went through, and asked no further questions, declining to cross-examine.
Sweeney follows other Seattle Police Department testimony and witness accounts of the events.