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Man Who Leveled Home Innocent in Assault

January 23, 1986|Associated Press

ENUMCLAW, Wash. — A man who bulldozed the family home after his wife filed for divorce has been acquitted of assaulting a television cameraman who was filming the wreckage.

Raymond Kree Kirkman, 28, told the Enumclaw Municipal Court jury that found him innocent Tuesday that he didn't feel the destruction was something "everyone else in the world should know about it."

"In 3 1/2 seconds, I was going to be on national TV," he said. "I put my hand on the camera."

Kirkman was accused of pushing KOMO-TV cameraman Neil Lowe to the ground while Lowe was filming at the scene the day after Kirkman destroyed the house.

Jurors decided Lowe and two other members of his news crew were trespassing maliciously on Kirkman's property and that the force Kirkman used in trying to remove them was not excessive, said jury foreman Randy Scott.

"I felt my property was being exploited and my personal being was being exploited," Kirkman said of the news crew's presence.

Kirkman testified he felt "real bad" when his wife told him she wanted a divorce. Sandra Kirkman, his estranged wife, has sued Enumclaw for negligence in allowing her husband to proceed with the demolition.

The suit claims $67,000 in damages and alleges a city police officer permitted the demolition to continue after confirming that Kirkman had obtained a demolition permit.

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