King County Judge rejects Naveed Haq's guilty plea - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

King County Judge rejects Naveed Haq's guilty plea

KING COUNTY, Wash. - There is new information about a Tri-Cities man accused of a shooting in Seattle.

Naveed Haq tried to plead guilty but the King County Judge refused to accept it. 

Haq's attorney said he is surprised but said today is the first time he has spoken face to face with his client.

Haq's attempt at pleading guilty shocked many in the courtroom including his lawyer.

C. Wesley Richards said, "I was surprised.  I thought we were entering a not guilty plea, but today is the first time I spoke with my client in person."

Haq has charged with nine felony counts including first-degree murder.  Police said he opened fire at the Jewish Federation Center in Seattle July 28th.

Andy Miller is the Benton County Prosecutor.  He explains why he thinks the judge did not accept the plea, "If a case is very serious especially like this case when there is a potential death penalty case.  The judge is going to worry about an appeal down the road."

The Benton county Prosecutor said he saw a case just like this 10 years ago when a judge rejects the initial guilty plea.

Miller said, "If there's issues about possible mental illness.  A judge is not going to want to take that guilty plea because that's the case where the public court ten years from now could second guess that decision."

Miller agreed with the judge's decision.  He said, "I think the judge did the right thing in this case and I think pretty much any judge in the state of Washington would have done the same thing."

At the request of his lawyer, the judge also agreed to allow Haq to be unchained and wear street clothes instead of a jail uniform during future court hearings.  The next one is scheduled for Tuesday.

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