Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, under consideration by President-elect Donald Trump for a Cabinet position, still found time to appear in a Kennewick courtroom for jury duty last week.
Retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, under consideration by President-elect Trump for a Cabinet position, still found time to appear in a Kennewick courtroom for jury duty last week.
Mattis, who has a Richland residence, is registered to vote in the state. He was sent a summons to appear Monday in Benton County District Court, and was one of six jurors seated on a gross-misdemeanor trial.
Tuesday, after deliberating for less than 10 minutes, the panel returned with a not-guilty verdict on one count of false reporting.
“It was unbelievable,” Richland attorney Scott Johnson said about having Mattis on his jury. “For a District Court case, it was quite interesting.”
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A woman who answered the phone at Mattis’ home Tuesday afternoon said, “He’s awfully busy.”
Mattis, 66, was born in Pullman and raised in Richland.
He went on to lead Marines into Kuwait during the Persian Gulf War in 1990-91, Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003. He was the head of U.S. Central Command when he ended his 41-year military career in 2013.
Johnson said he was amazed to see Mattis in his client’s jury pool.
“He couldn’t have been nicer. He was just real unassuming,” Johnson said.
Mattis was not the foreman. He stayed after the verdict with his fellow jurors to talk about the case with Johnson, Assistant City Attorney Oliver T. Beatty and Judge Steve Osborne.