By Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2020

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - A Virginia man has been acquitted in the shooting death of his stepson.

Herbert Washington, of Henrico County, was charged with second-degree murder in the killing of 34-year-old Kevin Brown Jr. The 68-year-old Washington had raised Brown since he was a young child.

The Richmond Times-Dispatch reports that Washington was acquitted by a jury Wednesday after Washington’s lawyer successfully argued that Washington shot Brown in self-defense on July 10, 2019. The defense contended that Brown was drunk and high on cocaine, and had been arguing with his stepfather when he was shot twice in the chest.

Washington admitted shooting his stepson when he called 911. When police arrived, he was still on the phone with dispatchers, sitting on the front stoop, with the handgun used in the shooting beside him.

Washington told the jury he was sorry for the shooting, but said he feared for his life.

Lisa Brown, who is Brown’s mother and Washington’s wife, told the jury Brown was convicted of assaulting Washington in 2012, dragging him into a parking lot, disarming him and pointing a gun at his stepfather’s head, before stomping and kicking him. The assault put Washington in the hospital with a broken nose, bloodied eye and other injuries.

Washington told the jury that he wasn’t going to let that happen again.

Prosecutors told the jury that in the earlier incident, no physical contact occurred until after Washington had introduced a weapon.

The jury deliberated 1½ hours before acquitting Washington of second-degree murder and a gun charge.

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