Article Last Updated: 09/21/2006 09:28:20 PM MDT

aurora
Suspect in officer's death advised of charges
By Carlos Illescas
Denver Post Staff Writer




Adams County Judge Harlan Bockman looks at shooting suspect Brian Allen Washington, left, during his first court appearance on Thursday Sept. 21, 2006. The judge asked media organizations not to show Washington's face while police are still showing his photo to potential witnesses in the murder of an Aurora police officer. (Post / RJ Sangosti)


Brian Allen Washington made an initial court appearance Thursday afternoon in Adams County District Court in Brighton, where he was advised that he faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with Thomas' death.

The tall and skinny Washington was wearing jail-issued orange pants and a blue shirt, and was shackled at the legs and hands. Six sheriff's deputies lined the courtroom as numerous news reporters

Aurora Police Det. Mike Thomas was killed on Sept. 20, 2006. (Aurora Police)

and others looked on.

Just before the hearing, Washington gazed over his left shoulder at a male family member in the courtroom and mouthed the words "I'll be all right," then nodded his head.

When he was asked by judge Harlan Bockman whether he understood his rights, Washington said, "yes, your honor."

Adams County District Attorney Don Quick said he would announce at a hearing on Monday the exact charges that will be filed against Washington.

Defense attorney Todd Nelson asked the judge that a gag order be put in place, but Bockman refused. He did order that all court documents in the case be sealed at least until Monday's hearing.

Nelson declined to comment after the hearing.

Washington is being held in the Adams County Jail without bail.

Meanwhile,




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police are not releasing a mug shot of Washington, as they are showing a photo lineup to potential witnesses, police spokesman Bob Friel said.
Friel said police were still urging anyone who witnessed what happened to call police at 303-739-6106.

Neighbors of Washington on Thursday were still surprised over hearing the news that he was arrested for allegedly gunning down the detective.

Debra Bryant, who lives two houses down from Washington's home on Potomac Street near 33rd Avenue in Denver, said she has lived there for years and never had any problems with him.

"We spoke. That was about it. He seemed OK," she said.

Other neighbors knew little about Washington and declined to comment.



Shooting suspect Brian Allen Washington stands with his attorney before Adam County Judge Harlan Bockman during his first court appearance Thursday at the Adams County Justice Center in Brighton. The judge ordered Washington to be held without bond. Media was not allowed to show Washington's face. (Post / RJ Sangosti)

*From 850KOA newsradio: Thomas was a twenty-four year vet of the Aurora PD and an undercover gang/narcotics detective. He was apparently sitting in his car at a red light in Aurora when gunshots erupted and he was shot multiple times, being pronounced dead at the hospital 30 minutes later. No details were immediately available as to the cause of the shooting.

Rest in peace, Brother.