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News / Clark County News

Co-defendant testifies in trial for shooting death of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: September 14, 2023, 5:55pm

A co-defendant in the July 2021 fatal shooting of Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown took the stand Thursday to testify against the alleged shooter.

Lani Kraabell, 50, told jurors in the aggravated murder trial of Guillermo Raya Leon, 28, that he was paranoid they were being watched by law enforcement while at an east Vancouver apartment complex. He eventually went outside to confront someone he saw sitting in a Jeep behind the apartment, she said.

Raya Leon is accused of shooting Brown as the detective conducted surveillance in his unmarked Jeep SUV. Law enforcement officers from several agencies were watching Raya Leon, his brother and his brother’s wife as part of an investigation into stolen firearms. Prosecutors say Kraabell was helping the trio find a buyer for the guns.

Raya Leon 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.

Kraabell said Raya Leon’s sister-in-law, Misty Raya, handed him what Kraabell thought was a gun and told him to go check it out and to leave “no loose ends.”

Guillermo Raya Leon’s defense attorneys questioned Kraabell about her multiple police interviews following the shooting. They noted inconsistencies among the various interviews and with what Kraabell testified Thursday. The defense said Kraabell didn’t mention the detail about Misty Raya handing Guillermo Raya Leon a gun until interviews months after the shooting.

Kraabell said she was scared and didn’t initially trust the detectives interviewing her.

Trial is scheduled to continue today with more state’s witnesses.