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"Given the Run-Around"

By Brian Slodysko November 9, 2009

King County Judge Sharon Armstrong appointed Seattle public defender Julie Lawry to represent Christopher Monfort, the prime suspect in the slaying of police officer Timothy Brenton late Monday afternoon.


Lawry and fellow Associated Council for the Accused attorney, Gary Davis, filed a motion earlier today to address the issue of access to Monfort, who is currently being treated for gunshot wounds at Harborview Medical Center.


Upon hearing of Lawry's request, the Prosecutors Office requested that they also be heard to establish that officers had Probable Cause to arrest Monfort last Friday after he pulled a gun on several police detectives. They did. And now Monfort is being denied bail.


After the hearing, Lawry addressed a smattering of gathered reporters. She said she was concerned that Monfort was being denied access to an attorney, noting that her office had tried to get in touch with Prosecutor Dan Satterberg's office all weekend, but had been "given the run-around." She said the police presence around Monfort may be intimidating, and given the number of unknowns as to his physical and mental condition, she said they may be trying to coerce statements or a confession out of him.


"You have a person who is medicated ... and has a bunch of officers standing around him." she said. "I don't know if he's conscious enough to make a statement."


Lawry said she has been in contact with Monfort's family and that they will make no official statement other than to express empathy towards the family of Brenton, the slain officer.


Lawry also admonished reporters to leave all families alone—or at least grant them a modicum of distance—and alluded to a news report that she said indicated a reporter had been snooping around and peering in windows at the residence of Monfort's relatives.


Lawry did not answer a reporter's question as to whether of not the case could become a federal one. Statements made in the media have labeled Monfort as a domestic terrorist, and police have said that they are working closely with federal authorities on the case.

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