- Associated Press - Tuesday, January 20, 2015

SEATTLE (AP) - A man accused of killing a Seattle police officer in a Halloween ambush in 2009 was angry about what he saw as an increasing number of police-brutality cases, a prosecutor told jurors Tuesday.

Opening statements began Tuesday in the trial of Christopher Monfort, who authorities say was conducting a one-man war on police.

He’s charged with aggravated murder and attempted murder in the shooting, and also arson for a fire that damaged police vehicles at a city maintenance yard.

Monfort has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty if he’s convicted, even though Gov. Jay Inslee has ordered a moratorium on executions as long as he is governor.

Monfort is accused of shooting Officer Tim Brenton and Officer Britt Sweeney as they sat in a patrol car. Sweeney survived.

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor John Castleton said in court Tuesday that Monfort left behind a warning when he set off pipe bombs at the maintenance yard Oct. 22, 2009 - a national day of protest against police violence.

Castleton told jurors an American flag attached to a large knife was stuck in the roof of a new patrol car and a flier was attached, The Seattle Times reported (https://bit.ly/15sKUK9 ).

Castleton read the flier to the jury, and when he got to the part about the American flag - “our colors are the red, white and blue; our flag is the Stars and Stripes” - Monfort yelled, “It’s right there,” and pointed to the flag behind the judge’s bench.

Castleton said Brenton and Sweeney were attacked “for one reason only - because they wore the badge.”

A search of his apartment and storage area turned up guns, bombs and bomb-making materials, authorities said.

Monfort was wounded by officers about a week later during his arrest in Tukwila. He is paralyzed from the waist down and uses a wheelchair.

Monfort’s attorney, Todd Gruenhagan, told jurors his client had a troubled childhood and was living in Los Angeles in 1991 during the Rodney King police beating case.

Gruenhagan said Monfort is delusional about police misconduct. Monfortsaw himself in line with the founding fathers who revolted against the British “red coats” under King George III, his attorney said.

“Christopher Monfort’s brain went a little haywire,” Gruenhagan said.

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