Murder, Arson Charges Filed Against Christopher J. Monfort By Prosecutor Dan Satterberg
Burien native and King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg announced Thursday (Nov. 12th) that Christopher John Monfort, 41, will face charges of aggravated first-degree murder charges for the killing of Seattle Police Officer Timothy Brenton, along with three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly trying to kill his partner, aiming a gun at police, as well as first-degree arson charges for trying to kill officers by firebombing police vehicles at a city maintenance yard.
Along with that litany of charges, it’s also probable that Satterberg will pursue the death penalty for Monfort, as aggravated first-degree murder of a police officer is punishable by one of two sentences in Washington â€” life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
As we previously reported, Monfort was shot last Friday (Nov. 6th) outside his Tukwila apartment after being approached by police about his car, which matched a vehicle seen near the scene of Brentonâ€™s death on Halloween night.
After aiming a malfunctioning handgun at police, Monfort was shot on the scene and is still in custody at Harborview Medical Center. It was also revealed by his family today that he is paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting.
According to Seattle Police documents, Monfortâ€™s apartment had a cache of weapons, including bomb-making materials. He is also believed to have â€œworked aloneâ€ in the fatal shooting of Officer Brenton, and has been called a “lone terrorist” in this case. Detectives have recovered DNA evidence from both the arson scene at the city maintenance facility and the scene of Officer Brentonâ€™s murder directly tying him to both incidents.
Detectives also recovered a .223 caliber rifle from Monfortâ€™s apartment, and a ballistics test identified it as the firearm used in Officer Brentonâ€™s murder.
Also recovered from Monfortâ€™s apartment was a considerable amount of bomb-making material and evidence that indicates that the type of explosive devices Monfort was in the process of making or had made were even more lethal than the ones used in the Oct. 22nd arson.
According to police, “he clearly was intending to inflict even more destruction in his next criminal attack.”
Further examination of the explosive devices used in the arson and of the devices found in his apartment indicate that Monfort was also intending to harm first responders to the scene, such as police and fire department personnel.
Monfort once attended Highline Community College in Des Moines, where he became involved in student government and was elected vice president of legislation.
The Oct. 23, 2003, edition of HCC’s student newspaper The Thunderword describes how Monfort ran for student senate and spoke at a candidates’ forum, where he was quoted as saying:
“Too often, too many of us walk around with our head in the clouds.”
According to the article, Monfort:
“…believes he is unique, because he is upset about our current state of government and actually wants to do something about it. … The student body has been cheated and lied to by the Bush Administration,” said Monfort. He plans on putting together a petition to bring our soldiers home.”
Monfort was also quoted as saying: “Our freedom is under attack.“