The man accused of murdering Seattle police officer Timothy Brenton launched a verbal barrage in court Thursday afternoon, stunning spectators and apparently even his own lawyer.
Christopher Monfort, accused of killing Brenton in cold blood on Oct. 31, lashed out against Paul Schene, the former King County deputy accused in a well-publicized November 2008 holding cell beating incident.
In his outburst, Monfort compared Schene to Adolf Hitler, and then referred to "the savage beating of Malika Calhoun," the teenage girl who was beaten in the holding cell incident.
Investigators believe that the holding cell beating, which was captured on videotape and broadcast widely across TV and the Internet, prompted Monfort's attack on Officer Brenton and his partner.
Monfort then launched into a rambling rant about the founding fathers and "the price of freedom."
Monfort's defense attorney, Julie Lawry, urged him to keep quiet.
"Don't do this, don't do this," she repeated at the start of his nearly eight-minute outburst, but her pleas fell on deaf ears.
All of this happened before the judge walked in - and before court started. Once the judge entered the courtroom, Monfort did not speak again.
Meanwhile, the accused killer's mother sat in the King County courtroom with her head in her hands.
Monfort has been charged with one count of aggravated first-degree murder in connection with Brenton's shooting death on Halloween night as he sat in his patrol car with a junior officer.
He also faces three counts of attempted first-degree murder for allegedly shooting at the junior officer on the same night, and also taking aim at two other officers on the day of his arrest.
In addition, Monfort is charged with first-degree arson in connection with the Oct. 22 firebombing of four Seattle police vehicles at a city maintenance yard.
Monfort has pleaded not guilty to all charges.