Posted: 6:37 a.m. Thursday, June 27, 2013

Prosecutors take final shot at death penalty in Christopher Monfort case

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Christopher Monfort
Christopher Monfort

By Chris Francis

SEATTLE —

King County prosecutors took their final shot in their fight to get the death penalty for accused cop killer Christopher Monfort.

 Thursday, the state Supreme Court took up the appeal, but no decision was reached.

 Monfort is accused of fatally shooting Seattle police Officer Tim Brenton on Halloween night 2009.

 Prosecutors said it was a cold-blooded killing and that Monfort targeted police, but their efforts to seek the death penalty have come down to Thursday’s hearing.

 In February, a judge threw out the death penalty option, saying King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg conducted a "flawed and useless" investigation into evidence needed to go for the death penalty.

 The judge added that Satterberg only interviewed 25 people associated with Monfort, some of whom had limited contact with him.

In Thursday’s hearing, the panel of judges on the state Supreme Court had to weigh the issue of whether Satterberg went beyond the rules when he decided to seek the death penalty, and whether he had all the information to make a decision.

 Monfort has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder and arson.

 Prosecutors said nine days before Brenton was shot, Monfort firebombed four police vehicles at a city maintenance yard.

No decision was made during Thursday’s hearing, but assistant prosecutor Deborah Dwyer said a decision could be made in the next few months.

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