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December 29, 1997

Local News

Zumwalt trial expected this week

  By Lisa Allen
   Valley View Editor

   DUVALL--City Councilman Ernie Zumwalt, who was charged Sept. 29 with selling cocaine, is expected to go on trial this week in King County Superior Court. The trial, originally scheduled for Dec. 23, was postponed to Dec. 29. Court documents allege the councilman sold cocaine to a police informant July 25 at the Duvall Tavern. Zumwalt was arrested as a result of a drug crackdown in the Duvall area by local police and the Eastside Narcotics Task Force. Several local people were arrested. Two have pleaded guilty. Christopher Butler, 27, charged with marijuana possession, was sentenced last month to 45 days in jail and Randal Trombley, 42,who pleaded guilty Oct. 27 to charges he delivered cocaine, was scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 12, but that was postponed.
   Zumwalt, 41, had appeared in court Dec. 12 and was expected to plead guilty, but he changed his mind. "He apparently opted to go to trial," said Dan Donohoe, King County Prosecutor spokesman.During the hearing before King County Superior Court Judge Patricia Aitken, Deputy Prosecutor Cindy Port said amended charges may be filed against Zumwalt. Zumwalt is represented by Seattle lawyer Anthony Savage. Donohoe said those amended charges are not expected to be filed until the day of trial. Zumwalt has been free on $30,000 bail. He has attended most of the council meetings since his arrest and has declined to step down despite requests from some members of the public that he resign.