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Dec. 2, 2023

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Trial begins for alleged getaway driver in killing of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown

Jury selection starts; defendant's brother accused of fatally shooting Brown

By , Columbian staff reporter

Jury selection began Monday in the trial for the alleged getaway driver in the fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown.

Abran Raya Leon, 30, is charged with second-degree felony murder, possession of a stolen firearm and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. (In a felony murder case, prosecutors need only to prove the defendant committed a felony — first-degree trafficking in stolen property, in this case — and in the course of that felony a murder was committed.)

His brother, Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, is accused of shooting Brown on the evening of July 23, 2021, as Brown conducted surveillance in an unmarked Jeep SUV at an east Vancouver apartment complex.

Guillermo Raya Leon has pleaded not guilty to first-degree aggravated murder, first-degree trafficking in stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm. His trial is scheduled to begin Sept. 5.

Law enforcement from several agencies were watching the brothers and Abran Raya Leon’s wife, Misty Raya, as part of an investigation into stolen firearms, court records say.

Investigators say Misty Raya, 37, broke into a Hazel Dell storage unit in early June 2021 and stole dozens of firearms and 20,000 to 30,000 rounds of ammunition. She has pleaded not guilty to second-degree felony murder, first-degree theft, second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, three counts of second-degree burglary and 25 counts of theft of a firearm. Her trial is scheduled for Oct. 9.

Clark County Prosecutor Tony Golik said in previous court hearings Abran Raya Leon was helping to sell the stolen firearms when his brother shot Brown.

After the shooting, Abran Raya Leon drove his wife and brother away from the apartment complex in a Toyota SUV and evaded pursuing police. The SUV was found crashed and abandoned near Interstate 205 and Padden Parkway, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Police found and arrested Abran Raya Leon and his wife later that night in the backyard of an unoccupied house in the 8700 block of Northeast 76th Avenue. Officers also located there the stolen revolver they believe Guillermo Raya Leon used to shoot Brown in the chest, court records say. Guillermo Raya Leon was later arrested in Salem, Ore.

A state’s witness list indicates prosecutors intend to call 53 witnesses, most of whom are law enforcement officers.

Lani Kraabel, who investigators say was helping the trio find buyers for the stolen guns, is also scheduled to testify after she took a plea deal with the condition she would cooperate with prosecutors. She was sentenced in June 2022 to six years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree manslaughter.

The trial is scheduled to last two weeks. Jury selection continues Tuesday morning.

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