Prosecutor tells jury Monfort 'not normal' but was sane when he fatally shot SPD officer

SEATTLE -- Closing arguments began Wednesday in the murder trial of Christopher Monfort, accused of targeting police and killing a Seattle officer on Halloween 2009.

If convicted, he could face the death penalty.

He has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but prosecutors spent the day trying to convince jurors he knew exactly what he was doing.

“The question isn’t whether Mr. Monfort is normal,” said Jeff Baird, deputy King County prosecutor. “He’s not normal. It’s not a normal thing to commit premeditated murder.”

But Baird told jurors that Monfort was sane when he opened fire on two Seattle police officers, killing Timothy Brenton and just missing his rookie partner, Britt Sweeney.

Sweeney was one of the first witnesses in a long trial that started in January and has cost millions of dollars.

Monfort, left partially paralyzed by police in a confrontation and shooting six days after the killing, can only sit in court for two hours at a time.

Prosecutors contend that he was angry about police brutality, and started a one-man war on officers, first firebombing cruisers in a maintenance yard and then killing Brenton nine days later.

“Mr. Monfort left a flag on his bed in his apartment where he expected his war with the police would likely end,” said Baird. “End with the deaths of a few more officers.”

Monfort’s defense team will get a chance to present their closing arguments Thursday. They will tell jurors he was psychotic and suffered from a delusional disorder that caused him to act out.

But Baird told jurors his actions showed he was cold and calculating, acting out his hatred of police and, ultimately, committing murder.

“They were wearing blue uniforms of the Seattle Police Department and that and that alone was reason enough for Mr. Monfort to pull up alongside that patrol car and open fire.”