Killer known for attacking lawyers loses his appeal

EVERETT — The man who attacked three of his attorneys with pencils and a pen has failed to convince the state Court of Appeals to throw out his murder conviction.

Joshua Monson is serving a 45-year prison sentence for the Jan. 2, 2011, shooting death of Brian Jones in south Everett. Jones, 30, was shot in the back of the head while he was talking on a cellphone.

Monson, a methamphetamine addict, denied shooting Jones. He appealed his first-degree murder conviction. He claimed that former Snohomish County Superior Court Judge Larry McKeeman erred when he allowed a woman to remain on the jury after she expressed concerns about her safety.

On the third day of trial, the juror told the judge that a woman in the courthouse garage was staring at her as she was getting into her car.

She said the encounter raised some general safety concerns. She admitted that she didn’t know if the woman was connected to the case.

Monson argued the juror was biased and he didn’t get a fair trial.

The state Court of Appeals didn’t agree, saying McKeeman carefully questioned the woman and concluded that she was capable of deciding the case based on the evidence and law.

“We conclude the trial court acted well within its discretion by denying Monson’s motion to excuse the juror premised on bias,” the appellant judges wrote.

Monson also unsuccessfully appealed on a couple of other issues, including what he claimed was a lack of evidence to support the conviction.

Monson made a spectacle of himself during several court appearances leading up to the murder trial. He stabbed three of his former attorneys — two with smuggled pencils and a third with the attorney’s own pen. No one was seriously hurt.

As a precaution, Monson was strapped to a chair and his right hand was shackled during the two-week trial.

He also sat apart from his lawyer. Courtroom furniture was rearranged to keep the restraints out of the sight of jurors. The jury also didn’t hear about his attacks on his lawyers or assaults targeting several corrections deputies.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com

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