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News / Clark County News

Second juror dismissed in trial of man accused of killing Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown

Hospitalized woman replaced as murder trial starts third week

By Becca Robbins, Columbian staff reporter
Published: September 18, 2023, 7:23pm

A second juror was dismissed Monday from the aggravated murder trial of the Salem, Ore., man accused of fatally shooting Clark County sheriff’s Sgt. Jeremy Brown after court staff learned she’d been hospitalized. Monday began the third week of trial.

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

In addition to aggravated first-degree murder, Raya Leon is 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.

The bailiff told Judge Derek Vanderwood on Monday morning that one juror, who is typically very prompt, had not shown up on time. When staff reached her by phone, they learned she was in the hospital.

Another juror reported over the weekend she had been feeling sick. But after she tested negative Monday morning for COVID-19, she was allowed to continue as a juror.

Last week, a juror was dismissed for a medical condition. The jury, which was seated after more than three days of jury selection, originally included four alternates. Vanderwood said he’d identify which of the jurors are the alternates prior to deliberations.

Prosecutors said Friday they anticipate resting their case around mid-week. The defense has indicated it intends to call several witnesses, including experts who they say will testify to their theory of the case. Raya Leon is claiming self-defense in the shooting, and a defense attorney implied during opening statements that Brown fired first.

Testimony Monday included the owner of the storage unit Raya Leon’s sister-in-law is accused of burglarizing. The witness told the jury about going to his unit the month before the shooting to find his approximately 30 firearms and thousands of rounds of ammunition gone. He referenced a spreadsheet he used to keep inventory of his guns and identified what was stolen from his unit as prosecutors showed the jury photos. He also opened ammo cans and bags law enforcement recovered during their investigation and identified dozens of boxes of ammunition he said were stolen from him.

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

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