By Jackson Holtz, Herald Writer
EVERETT — An Everett man who police believe was planning to kill Snohomish County sheriff’s deputies had guns, ammunition and bulletproof vests to carry out an assault.
It was to be a killing similar to the Thanksgiving weekend assassination of four Lakewood police officers, police said.
Deputies arrested transient Michael McConnachie, 19*, on Sunday at a south Everett motel, according to a police affidavit filed Monday in Everett District Court.
“This appears to be more than just mouthing off or bragging,” Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Rebecca Hover said. “We had reason to be concerned and we took it seriously.”
McConnachie said he wasn’t scheming to hurt anyone.
Six police officers in Western Washington died late last year in execution-style killings. Marysville resident Timothy Brenton, a Seattle police officer, was killed on Halloween by a man who detectives believe held a grudge against police and had previously firebombed some parked Seattle patrol cars.
The four Lakewood officers were gunned down at a Parkland coffee shop in suburban Tacoma on Nov. 29.
The man responsible for the Lakewood killings, Maurice Clemmons, was out on bail when he went on his rampage. Clemmons was fatally shot Dec. 1 by a police officer in Seattle.
Pierce County Deputy Kent Mundell of Puyallup was shot to death during a domestic-disturbance call in December.
Local police and prosecutors said they had the recent police killings in mind when they dealt with McConnachie.
“We’re very careful anyway, but given what happened in Seattle and Lakewood we’re paying close attention to these kinds of threats,” Hover said.
Deputies learned of the alleged plan to kill police after another man in McConnachie’s motel room was arrested April 1 as part of an Everett police burglary investigation.
The burglary suspect went to see McConnachie to get high, police said. During the visit, McConnachie said he was looking for a driver to “merk” sheriff’s deputies, police were told. Police said that “merk” is slang for killing.
He told police he’d been shown several weapons under a mattress, and was told by McConnachie to “check out my arsenal … ”
The burglary suspect refused to help McConnachie in the plot.
Deputies asked a judge for permission to search the motel room. During the raid, they found a pistol, a shotgun, the two bulletproof vests and black tar heroin, according to court records.
Everett District Court Judge Tam Bui ordered McConnachie held in lieu of $350,000 bail. He’s jailed for investigation of conspiracy to commit first-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance.
“I thought there was a risk to the community and to the deputy sheriffs in particular,” Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Randy Yates said. That’s why he argued for the high bail.
Yates said he would have asked for a high bail to hold the suspect under any circumstance, but the recent violence against police also was a consideration.
*Correction, April 13, 2010: This article originally stated an incorrect age for Michael McConnachie.