A jury acquitted a Vancouver man of an assault charge Tuesday in connection with a fight at a Vancouver apartment complex that ended with the man shooting at the ground near a group of kids.
After about 1½ hours of deliberating, a Clark County Superior Court jury found Jesse A. Roehm, 45, not guilty of second-degree assault with a deadly weapon. When the prosecution rested Tuesday morning, the judge granted a defense motion to dismiss an additional charge of felony harassment, court records show.
Defense attorney Alyosha McClain said he was pleased with the jury’s verdict.
McClain said Roehm was attacked in the parking lot and punched repeatedly before he got away and retrieved his gun. Roehm then fired a shot into the ground to warn his attackers he would defend his nearby residence. When Roehm went back inside, he called 911 and cooperated with law enforcement.
“I’m happy Jesse didn’t go to prison for something I don’t think he did anything wrong in,” McClain said.
After the verdict, Deputy Prosecutor Kristen Arnaud said, “I appreciate the jury’s work in deciding this case, and I respect their decision.”
Units from the Vancouver Police Department, Clark County Sheriff’s Office and Washington State Patrol were dispatched at 5:33 p.m. Oct. 19, 2021, for multiple reports of a disturbance with a weapon at the Alder Creek Apartments and Townhomes, 11716 N.E. 49th St.
The confrontation occurred less than a quarter-mile west of where, two days prior, Clark County sheriff’s deputies fatally shot Kfin Karuo, who was in his late 20s, during a high-risk traffic stop as part of an investigation into a previous assault with a firearm.
Officers said they learned several children were playing in the parking lot when Roehm pulled into a parking spot in a Toyota Prius and dinged the door of an adjacent car. The children confronted Roehm, and an argument ensued, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
A group of older juveniles then confronted Roehm, and an unidentified male punched Roehm in the face. Roehm suffered a minor injury to the right side of his face, the affidavit says.
Court records state after he was punched, Roehm wrestled with the male and freed himself. He then ran to his apartment and grabbed a pistol. He returned with the firearm to confront the male, but he could not find him, the affidavit states. No one was reportedly injured in the shooting.
Multiple parents said their children came running into their apartments, crying and saying a man was outside shooting, according to the affidavit.
Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp previously said some of the parents of the threatened children threw a rock through the window of Roehm’s residence and then toward the police car Roehm was driven away in.