Skip to Content

Post man pleads not guilty in son’s shooting death


A 72-year-old Post man arrested in the fatal shooting of his 51-year-old son nearly two weeks ago has pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree manslaughter after a grand jury handed down an indictment on those charges and not murder.

William George Brown Sr. was arrested late on May 11 after calling 911 to report he’d shot his son, William Brown Jr., during a dispute at their home in Post, a rural community 25 miles southeast of Prineville, authorities said.

The father initially was arrested on both murder and manslaughter charges, but the grand jury chose to indict him on the lesser charges, said Crook County Chief Deputy District Attorney Aaron Brenneman.

At Friday’s arraignment, Circuit Judge Gary Williams set bail at $250,000 for Brown, who remained held Saturday at the Jefferson County Jail in Madras, where Crook County rents beds due to crowding.

Brenneman said the judge set a June 1 status hearing in the case, as well as to determine if he should remain jailed pending trial.

Under Oregon law, a murder charge involves someone who either sets out to kill someone or does so while committing another crime. First-degree manslaughter, a Class A felony, is a criminal homicide committed recklessly with “extreme indifference to the value of human life,” or intentionally under “extreme emotional disturbance.”

Second-degree manslaughter, a Class B felony, is a criminal homicide “committed recklessly.”

Brown made his initial court appearance via video hookup Monday afternoon, nearly a week after the 72-year-old allegedly shot and killed his son in a confrontation over insisting he move out.

A detective’s affidavit shed new light on what the father says happened that fateful night at their home in the rural community of Post, southeast of Prineville.

Brown Sr. kept his head down as he listened to Williams lay out his options. He was appointed an attorney and read his rights, including the right to remain silent.

The father and son were living together. Neighbors tell NewsChannel 21 the younger Brown was taking care of his ailing father..

However, in an affidavit released by a Crook County sheriff’s detective, Brown Sr. told police he was trying to get his son to move out.

In the affidavit, Detective, Dave Tugmon writes, “I, Detective Dave Tugmon … believe probable cause exists that: William George Brown Sr. has committed the crime of murder, manslaughter; criminally negligent homicide.”

The detective wrote that Brown Sr. told Sheriff Jim Hensley he needed a handgun to protect himself from his son.

The man told police that he put it in his pocket before he had a conversation with his son about moving out. He allegedly told his son he was buying him a bus ticket to go back to Minnesota the following morning, and asked him twice if he’d started packing, the second time at the door to his son’s bedroom.

According to Tugman, Brown Sr. said he had taken the gun out of his pocket and was holding it with his right hand, finger on the trigger.

Then things went awry.

The detective said Brown Sr. recalled his son was facing away from him, but turned around and hit him with an “open back hand,” and that it knocked his head into the doorjamb.

“Brown Sr. said the gun ‘went off’ and he saw he had shot his son,” Tugman wrote in the affidavit.

Police say the younger man was dead at the scene of a single gunshot wound. An An autopsy found that it entered his left armpit area, exited near the right armpit and lodged in the victim’s right upper arm.

Tugman also said Brown repeatedly told him “he had carried the gun on several different occasions and had pulled the gun out and pointed it at Brown Jr. to ‘threaten him’ and to ‘get him to leave me alone.'”

“Brown Sr. told me he felt he needed the gun for his ‘protection’ in case Brown Jr. ‘came after me,'” the detective added.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

KTVZ News Team


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content