West Seattle Crime Watch followup: Alki shooting suspect in court

January 5, 2011 at 3:06 pm | In Crime, West Seattle news, West Seattle police | 10 Comments

gavel.jpgWe’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.


  1. I believe it should be “he pleaded not guilty”

    Comment by drshort — 8:31 pm January 5, 2011 #

  2. Yes, drshort, thank you. Major word missing. Even though the plea is technically “not guilty” instead of “innocent,” I am finally seeing why some would prefer the latter … harder to screw up. Apologies, fixed now – Tracy

    Comment by WSB — 8:37 pm January 5, 2011 #

  3. Not to nitpick, I’m actually wondering, isn’t it:

    “… plead not guilty” versus “pleaded”?

    Anyway, thanks for the update.

    Comment by Cascadianone — 9:40 pm January 5, 2011 #

  4. A quick strumming of the Google reveals…

    “Pleaded vs. Pled
    For the past tense of to plead, you may use either pleaded or pled.

    Example: He will plead not guilty to the charges.
    Example: He pleaded not guilty before his trial.
    Example: He pled not guilty before his trial.

    Note: In the strict legal sense, one cannot plead innocent.”

    Credit to Grammarbook.com (Althouhg im purty shore Gramma don’t have no “r” on the end so I donnow if i kin take them serius.)

    Comment by 35this35mph — 9:52 pm January 5, 2011 #

  5. AP does not recognize “pled” and neither do I. I wrote the stylebook for almost every newsroom I ever worked in, and it was strictly off limits!

    Comment by WSB — 10:02 pm January 5, 2011 #

  6. I noo no real Gramma rote that junk! ;)

    Although I’m actually curious why the prohibition against “pled.”

    Comment by 35this35mph — 10:17 pm January 5, 2011 #

  7. It just always sounded low-rent. And again, AP eschewed it. Same as sneaked vs. snuck, though someone ruined my day recently by pointing out that “snuck” – like “pled” – is gaining cred. Not that I speak the Queen’s English or anything, as you have probably gathered from my scribbles here. But there are just a few remaining peeves. Like over vs. more than. OMG … when AP stopped banning “over,” I almost went back east to picket the stylebook HQ. Sorry to digress, though, on a serious story – TR

    Comment by WSB — 10:45 pm January 5, 2011 #

  8. I always thought the past tense of the word “plead” (pronounced ‘pleed’) was “plead” (‘pronounced but not spelt ‘pled’).

    Don’t know what ninny foisted “pleaded” on us. Sounds like some kind of 5-year-old grammar error to me.

    Comment by Sniffy — 10:47 pm January 5, 2011 #

  9. Leave it to the WSB audience to digress from the story into an argument (okay a “discussion”) about verbiage and grammar…y’all (Texan vernacular) need to just relax and pay attention to the actual story…far more important than AP or Chicago or New York Manual styles ….etc.

    Comment by onceachef — 11:36 pm January 5, 2011 #

  10. Better this high-brow discussion than running around the streets firing a rifle…

    ((( See, I got us back on track! :D )))

    Comment by Cascadianone — 3:49 pm January 6, 2011 #

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