Police killing suspect pleads not guilty

SEATTLE, Dec. 15 (UPI) — A Seattle man accused of the ambush slaying of a police officer on Halloween night has pleaded not guilty at an arraignment hearing.

Christopher Monfort, 41, made his first appearance in King County, Wash., Superior Court amid tight security Monday, where his attorney entered not-guilty pleas on his behalf to charges of aggravated murder — which could carry the death penalty — and other counts, The Seattle Times reported.

King County Superior Judge Palmer ordered Monfort held without bond as the wife of victim Timothy Brenton and many of his fellow police officers filled the courtroom and lined an adjacent hallway while listening through an overhead speaker, the newspaper said.

Observers said Monfort, paralyzed from the waist down after a police bullet lodged in his spine, made his appearance in a wheelchair, while his right eye appeared to be half-closed, possibly from a second bullet wound to his cheek.

Police say Monfort drove up next to Brenton, 39, and officer-trainee Britt Sweeney, 33, and opened fire as they sat in a parked police car. Monfort was shot by Seattle police detectives Nov. 6 during a confrontation outside his Tukwila, Wash., apartment.

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