PORT ANGELES, Wash. (AP) -- A man in Washington state who branded his children like cattle has been acquitted of second-degree assault charges.
A jury in Port Angeles deadlocked Thursday on two lesser charges of fourth-degree assault, and a judge declared a mistrial on those counts.
The two teenage sons of 39-year-old Mark J. Seamands testified that they had wanted to be branded.
The Sequim, WA man was branded himself. He testified he wanted to bring the family closer together while he was going through a divorce. Seamands' ex-wife said she was horrified when she saw the scars.
Seamands' 18-year-old daughter also was branded, but the dad wasn't charged with assaulting her because she was old enough to give consent.
The children were branded with the letters "SK," which stands for "Seamands' kids."