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Jury rules Woodbine man did not cause cousin's death by police

The state argued Varshan Brown's cousin, Latoya James, would not been shot if Brown didn't fire at deputies.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A verdict was returned Thursday afternoon in the trial of a Camden County man who was charged with the murder of his cousin -- despite the fact she was shot dead by police. 

The jury returned a not guilty verdict for felony murder against Varshan Brown.

However, the jury returned a guilty verdict for possession with intent to distribute and guilty to aggravated assault on a public safety officer.

The victim, Latoya James, was shot while a warrant was served for illegal drugs at Varshan Brown's home in 2021.

Brown fired shots at law enforcement, and they fired back. 

A bullet hit James, killing her.

The prosecution also showed off the gun brown used to shoot at the officers.

In closing arguments, the district attorney says James would still be here today if her cousin didn't fire at the deputies.

The family of James released a statement Thursday night, saying: 

“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.”

READ MORE: Closing arguments in the case 

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