WENATCHEE — Prosecutors filed new charges against a Leavenworth man accused of firing warning shots at a railroad crew last October.
James Carl Brown is now charged in Chelan County Superior Court with four counts of unlawful imprisonment on top of four counts of second-degree assault.
“Often, prosecutors will only charge some of the crimes they have probable cause for up front,” said Deputy Prosecutor Andrew Van Winkle in an email. “Then, if a case looks like it’s going to trial, the prosecutor will add the charges they’ve held back on.”
Brown pleaded not guilty Wednesday to unlawful imprisonment.Trial is set for June 4. He was released from custody in October after posting $10,000 bail.
When four members of a BNSF Railway crew tried to reach a railroad crossing via Brown’s driveway on the 12000 block of Chumstick Highway, Brown fired a trio of shots into dirt about 10 feet in front of the crew’s truck, Chelan County sheriff’s deputies say.
According to a probable cause affidavit filed Oct. 24 in superior court, Brown didn’t want the crew on his property. They retreated to BNSF property and then Brown left.
However, the driveway was the crew’s only way back to the highway and they told deputies they were afraid Brown would shoot if they drove back onto his property, the affidavit said.
After coordinating with deputies — who in turn were negotiating with Brown — the crew escaped via rail. Brown was later arrested by the Chelan County Regional SWAT Team.
Brown told officers he fired three warning shots with a 5.56-caliber M4 rifle. A member of the Oregon Army National Guard, he has lost his ability to possess a firearm while the case is active, even while on military duty.