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Sept. 17, 2021

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Man accused of killing Clark County deputy held without bail

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:
2 Photos
Guillermo Raya Leon appears Thursday via video in Clark County Superior Court to be arraigned on charges of first-degree aggravated murder and possession of a stolen firearm. He entered not-guilty pleas to both counts.
Guillermo Raya Leon appears Thursday via video in Clark County Superior Court to be arraigned on charges of first-degree aggravated murder and possession of a stolen firearm. He entered not-guilty pleas to both counts. (Jessica Prokop/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

The man accused of fatally shooting Clark County sheriff’s Detective Jeremy Brown will remain in custody for the duration of his aggravated murder case. Both the prosecution and defense agreed to the no-bail hold for Guillermo Raya Leon.

Raya Leon, 26, appeared Thursday via video in Clark County Superior Court to be arraigned and address motions brought by the state and defense.

The Salem, Ore., man entered not-guilty pleas to first-degree aggravated murder and possession of a stolen firearm.

Raya Leon waived his right to a speedy trial, and one was set for April 18.

He is being held at the Cowlitz County Jail, according to the county’s jail roster, and was moved to the Clark County Jail for Thursday’s hearing.

About two dozen law enforcement officers from the sheriff’s office, including Sheriff Chuck Atkins, and Vancouver Police Department attended the hearing with Brown’s family.

Investigators have said that Raya Leon admitted to them he shot Brown, 46, once with a revolver while Brown was seated in an unmarked police SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex on the evening of July 23.

Both the prosecution and defense confirmed Thursday that Raya Leon and Brown exchanged gunfire; however, the defense said there’s nothing on record as to who fired first.

Detectives were following Raya Leon, his brother, Abran Raya Leon, and his brother’s wife, Misty Raya, that day as part of an investigation into the theft of 32 firearms and 20,000 to 30,000 rounds of ammunition from a Hazel Dell storage unit in early June. Investigators and the prosecution say they believe the weapon used to shoot Brown is one of the stolen guns.

Abran Raya Leon, 28, the alleged getaway driver in the fatal shooting, is facing charges of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and unlawful possession of a firearm, according to court records. He has been in federal custody since his arrest on the night of the shooting. Court records indicate his first appearance is scheduled for Tuesday.

Misty Raya, 35, pleaded not guilty last month to burglary, identity theft and 32 counts of firearm theft. Her trial is now scheduled for March 7. In the meantime, she is being held on $1 million bail.

On Thursday, Judge Derek Vanderwood took up a motion from the state about releasing Brown’s personal cellphone from evidence. It was apparently found at the shooting scene.

Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik argued the cellphone holds no evidentiary value and that Brown’s widow needs it to access financial information. Defense attorney Therese Lavallee argued that the phone should be preserved, and the chain of evidence should not be broken.

Lavallee said Guillermo Raya Leon’s constitutional rights must outweigh the privacy interests in the cellphone.

Vanderwood agreed with the defense and denied the state’s motion.

He then took up a motion from the defense about limiting pre-trial publicity in the case.

Defense attorney Shon Bogar said the defense is asking that the prosecution not proactively share information with the media about the case. The state countered that it has only provided public court filings in response to media requests.

Vanderwood denied the defense’s motion.

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