New dashcam video of police cruisers exploding released in trial of accused cop killer
SEATTLE -- Prosecutors say Christopher Monfort’s rage had been building in the weeks before he gunned down Seattle officer Timothy Brenton. They say his first act was to booby trap several police cars 9 days before the killing.
Released for the first time, dashcam video shows Seattle police officers rushing to Seattle’s Charles Street maintenance yard. Someone had just planted bombs on several police cruisers.
SDOT worker Kelvin Green witnessed the frenzy.
“Once I saw the flames everything was chaotic,” Green said.
Green says in the midst of the chaos, he made eye contact with Christopher Monfort.
Other witnesses testified Monfort hid inside the Charles Street complex even pointing to the mobile precinct engulfed in flames.
“I was on the phone with 911 trying to see if he would come out of the aisle,” witness Michael Rongren said.
Two more patrol cars exploded into flames, prosecutors say Monfort got away but not before piercing a patrol car with a knife. An American flag and a threatening note were left behind.
“Start policing each other or get ready to attend a lot of police funerals,” it read.
Prosecutors say Monfort followed through with those threats nine days later -- shooting officer Timothy Brenton and injuring officer Britt Sweeney as they sat in their patrol car.
“It was because they wore a badge,” prosecutor John Castleton said.
There was little cross-examination from the defense on Wednesday. Their case comes down to whether they can convince jurors to acquit Monfort by reason of insanity.
The defense says Monfort suffers from delusional disorder. They say he became obsessed with police brutality and believed killing a police officer was the right thing to do.
Known for his outbursts, Monfort stayed quiet inside the courtroom on Wednesday but as he left during the break he said ‘hands up don’t shoot.’ He also said those words on the first day of his trial.
Prosecutors say Monfort is not crazy he just hates the police. They will seek the death penalty if he is convicted.
Monfort has been paralyzed from the waist down, shot by police during his arrest. The trial could take up to six months because Monfort's condition only allows him to stay in court for two-hour increments at a time.