CAMDEN COUNTY, Ga. — A jury found a man not guilty of the 2021 murder of his cousin, who was caught in the crossfire of a shootout with Camden County deputies.
He was found guilty on other charges and sentenced to life in prison, according to a news release from Keith Higgins, District Attorney for the Brunswick Judicial Circuit.
In May 2021, Latoya James was shot and killed by Camden County deputies when they were serving a warrant on her cousin, Varshaun Brown’s house. The deputies used a battering ram to knock down his door.
Georgia Bureau of Investigations said that deputies announced themselves before going into the home. Gunfire was exchanged inside and both Brown and James were shot. James died at the scene after she was shot while sleeping on the couch.
Brown was found guilty by a jury of the following offenses:
- Aggravated Assault Against a Police Officer (two counts),
- Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute
- Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon During Commission of a Crime
- Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon
Superior Court Judge Roger B. Lane sentenced Brown to the maximum possible sentence for each crime, for a total sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole, with a consecutive term of imprisonment of 55 years.
According to the news release, Brown will have to serve 30 years before he is eligible for parole on the life sentence, and he will be required to serve the entire imprisonment of 55 years without the possibility of parole.
Brown’s attorneys released a statement saying in part of his other charges that they are “confident those will be overturned on appeal.” Here is the following statement from civil rights attorneys Harry Daniels, Bakari Sellers and Reginald Green:
“Today the jury made it absolutely clear that Varshaun Brown is not responsible for Latoya James death and there was only one other group shooting. Furthermore, we are confident that the other convictions and this draconian sentence will be overturned on appeal.
“The simple fact is that the Camden County Sheriff’s Department gunned Latoya James down in cold blood and they’ve been doing everything they could since to distract people from that fact. This overreaching prosecution was their last chance and there’s nowhere else to turn.
“How many more people have to be beaten or killed by the Camden County Sheriff’s Department? We say no more and the people are with us.”
There is still a pending $25 million lawsuit filed by James’ family against Camden County Sheriff Jim Proctor and the deputies involved in the shooting.
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