Thursday ended with still no jury seated in the aggravated murder trial of the Salem, Ore., man accused of fatally shooting Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown.
Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, is also charged in Clark County Superior Court with first-degree trafficking in stolen property, first-degree burglary, theft of a motor vehicle and two counts of possession of a stolen firearm. Jury selection began Tuesday morning and was scheduled to continue Friday morning.
He 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. Law enforcement from several agencies were watching Guillermo Raya Leon; his brother, Abran Raya Leon, 30; and Abran Raya Leon’s wife, Misty Raya, 37, as part of an investigation into stolen firearms, court records say.
Guillermo Raya Leon’s defense attorneys had previously moved for a change in venue, citing extensive media coverage of the shooting and subsequent court hearings. A judge denied the motion during a June hearing, court records show. But the defense has continued to file copies of news stories, including The Columbian’s coverage of the Abran Raya Leon trial last month.
A jury convicted Abran Raya Leon of second-degree murder, possession of a stolen firearm and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm. He was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
The defense also cited in its motion concerns for Guillermo Raya Leon’s safety while he’s housed at the Clark County Jail for the trial. The filing noted Brown was formerly a corrections deputy at the jail; Guillermo Raya Leon was previously housed at the Cowlitz County Jail for much of the time following his June 2021 arrest.