After acquittal, jury denies reimbursement to firearm defendant

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James Carl Brown at his trial Thursday in Chelan County Superior Court.

WENATCHEE — The jury that acquitted a Chumstick Valley man after he confronted railroad workers with an assault rifle says he’s not entitled to reimbursement of his court costs.

Jurors found James Carl Brown, 45, not guilty of assault and unlawful imprisonment on Friday, after a four-day Chelan County trial. Under Washington’s stand-your-ground law, he could have collected lost legal fees and expenses if a majority of the jury agreed that his use of force was lawful.

Although they acquitted Brown of the criminal charges, the jurors said he did not prove “by a preponderance of evidence” that he acted lawfully. A finding of lawful use of force allows a judge to set a reimbursement amount for an acquitted defendant.

Brown, a Marine veteran and National Guard member, fired the assault rifle into the ground in October 2018 while warning a four-man BNSF crew not to trespass on Chumstick Highway property where he lived. He claimed he acted in self-defense.