Thursday, January 15, 2009

Investigators: Federal Way murder suspect released


FEDERAL WAY, Wash. - The young man accused in a fatal shooting at the Federal Way Transit Center a year ago has been set free.

21-year-old Glenn Proctor of Tacoma was charged with second degree murder and has been in the King County Jail for nearly a year awaiting trial.

He appeared in court this afternoon, where King County prosecutors formally dismissed charges against him.

His trial was supposed to begin Tuesday.

"The first thing he said to me was 'I told you I was innocent and I told you I didn't do it,'" Defense attorney Diane Zumwalt said. "I just looked at him and said 'I know. I've known this whole time in my heart that you didn't do it.'"

Zumwalt told KING 5 it's an amazing day.

"It's truly a relief when someone that is innocent of a crime gets the right result," she said.

The shooting happened as the evening commute was winding down at the Federal Way Transit Center just before the Martin Luther King holiday weekend a year ago. An innocent bystander was killed and an eyewitness quickly pointed the finger at Proctor.

Federal Way police issued a warrant and Proctor turned himself in.

"He felt confident that the video surveillance would get him off," Proctor's attorney Mark Prothero told KING 5.

Proctor's defense attorneys say it took months to analyze low quality images from the transit center surveillance tape. By comparing clothing and doing what are called relative cranial measurements, they say they were able to show that Proctor couldn't be the killer.

Prosecutors say that evidence, plus inaccuracies during a re-interview of the eyewitness Tuesday, convinced them to dismiss the case.

"After being locked up 11 months for no reason, it feels real good to get out," Proctor said Thursday.

Glenn Proctor's father, Glenn Roland, found out this morning his son was being released. He was surprised and happy.

"This is a very tragic situation," Glenn Roland said. "I truly feel for the family of the victim, and I understand there's an ongoing investigation."

When asked if he always believed his son was innocent, he said "absolutely."

Prosecutors asked that the case be dismissed without prejudice, meaning they could re-file charges against Proctor later, but they say that's just a standard precaution.

Sr. Deputy Prosecutor Don Raz said they are convinced their eyewitness was inaccurate. It wasn't Proctor, but another man who Federal Way Police are now looking for.

Federal Way police say they're following leads in the case.

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