Man Who Branded Kids Acquitted On Assault Charges

PORT ANGELES, Wash. -- A jury in Port Angeles has acquitted a man who branded his children like cattle of two felony second-degree assault charges.

Jurors deadlocked Thursday on two lesser charges of fourth-degree assault. Superior Court Judge Brooke Taylor declared a mistrial on those and told Mark J. Seamands that he was a free man.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that the two teenage sons of the 39-year-old Seamands testified this week that they wanted to be branded.

The Sequim man also branded himself. He testified he wanted to bring the family closer together in November 2008 while he was going through a divorce.

The brand "SK" stands for Seamands Kids.