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Mother acquitted of assaulting adult daughter

A Vancouver mother was found not guilty this week in Clark County District Court of assaulting her adult daughter. Attorneys Katie Kauffman and Ross Meyers successfully argued that the mother acted in self-defense.

The panel of six jurors deliberated approximately 90 minutes on Feb. 9 before unanimously voting to acquit.

The daughter and her three children had been living with her mother last fall when she called 911 to report that she’d been assaulted. When police officers responded, our client was asked whether she’d been assaulted too and she only said, “That’s my daughter.”

 

At trial, our client told jurors that she hadn’t wanted to get her daughter in trouble. She acknowledged that she did take her daughter down to the ground and held her down, but her daughter had first grabbed her by the neck and ripped off her necklace. The mother told jurors she was just trying to get her daughter to calm down, and she’d relied on training she’d received when she worked as an usher at the Moda Center in Portland.  

The mother had been charged with fourth-degree assault domestic violence, a gross misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of one year in jail.

The alleged victim’s testimony didn’t line up with what she’d told police. She tried to explain the difference by saying she only gave police a summary of what happened and now she was giving a more detailed version. Kauffman questioned why she would only provide officers with a summary when she was trying to justify getting her mother arrested. The daughter said she was upset when officers arrived. 

Prior to the physical altercation, the mother and daughter had argued because the daughter asked the mother to help her get $500 to put toward a deposit on an apartment and the mother said no. 

Tags: criminal law, not guilty, assault, domestic violence, Clark County

Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.: Vancouver Defenders Jeffrey D. Barrar, P.S.
Vancouver Defenders