Trial date set for man in jail for shooting trooper

By on Monday, November 21st, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

WALLA WALLA – The man accused of shooting Washington State Patrol Trooper Dean Atkinson Jr. on Sept. 22 is set to stand trial January 24, 2023. Brandon Dennis O’Neel, 37, of Walla Walla was originally scheduled to be tried next week, but on Nov. 9 he signed a waiver of his right to a speedy trial.

O’Neel faces five felony charges which include first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and attempting to elude a pursuing vehicle, all with firearm enhancements; threats to bomb or injure property; and harassment.

O’Neel is currently being held in the Walla Walla County Jail on a $1 million dollar bond.

He was arrested after allegedly stopping his vehicle near Atkinson’s patrol vehicle on West Poplar Street, then getting out and shooting the trooper multiple times, striking him in the hand and face. Earlier that same day, local law enforcement evicted O’Neel from his apartment on West Rose Street.