Accused Seattle mass shooter released from jail while awaiting trial
Update 3:30 p.m. 3/1: Tolliver is officially out on home detention, as of today. A judge is allowing him to live with his grandmother until his trial March 13. He is required to wear an ankle monitor during this time.
A King County judge granted pre-trial release to a man accused of killing one person and shooting six others in the Jan. 2020 mass shooting in downtown Seattle. That means William Tolliver could walk out as soon as today, though he is still currently in jail as of this reporting.
Tolliver will have to wear an ankle monitor as he goes to live with his grandmother before the trial next month. He did not have to post bail. Instead, he just had to promise to return to court.
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“It’s just a written agreement that you will show up and return to court,” said Casey McNerthney, the King County Prosecutor’s Office‘s spokesperson.
The King County Prosecutor’s Office argued that Tolliver should have remained in jail.
“If you are charged with murder in the first degree, and six counts of assault in the first degree, and have shot victims at random, you absolutely should be held reasonably in jail, and that’s what we argued for,” McNerthney said.
The seriousness of the crimes he is accused of, alongside the randomness of the shootings, makes him a risk to society, according to McNerthney. Prosecutors are also concerned by Tolliver’s pattern of behavior. McNerthney said that Tolliver has a history of violating court orders and illegally possessing a gun.
“We argued that this person is a danger to the community because of his behavior and because of the previous inability to follow court orders,” McNerthney said. “We also brought up to the judge that he fled to Vegas, and that’s a big concern too.”
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After the shooting, Tolliver and another suspect, Marquise Tolbert, went to Nevada before they were arrested and extradited. Tolbert was found not guilty of murder last year; a jury declared that he acted in self-defense.
Prosecutors believe Tolliver was shooting at a rival gang member when he randomly hit bystanders downtown.
“There was nothing targeted about it, which is one of the most terrifying things,” McNerthney said.