We’re at the King County Courthouse, where 59-year-old Thomas Qualls – the Alki resident accused of firing an assault rifle September 3rd at police who subsequently shot him (original WSB coverage here) – made a brief appearance this afternoon. It was meant to be an update on whether he would enter a plea or proceed to trial. He pleaded not guilty September 22nd to three counts of second-degree assault, with firearms enhancement. Lawyers told the judge today that they are still awaiting key reports, so a decision on what’s next is now pushed back a few more weeks. When last we saw Qualls in the same courtroom three months ago (WSB coverage here), he was in a wheelchair, as he recovered from a gunshot wound to the abdomen; today, Qualls was standing, with the assistance of a walker. He’s been in jail since leaving the hospital five days after the incident, held in lieu of $1 million bail. The proceedings today included a mention of “negotiations,” so it appears a plea bargain is still a possibility.
West Seattle, Washington