Defense experts took the stand Thursday 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 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. He is claiming self-defense in the shooting.
Greg Walsh, a private investigator who’d previously worked as a law enforcement trainer, said if Brown had seen Raya Leon approaching the Jeep, his training would’ve led him to tell his fellow detectives and exit his vehicle to be in a better position to confront him.
He said the fact Brown knew Raya Leon was one of the suspects he was watching means he would have perceived Raya Leon appearing at his driver’s door as a threat.
Raya Leon said in a recorded police interview that Brown had pointed his gun at him before he shot at the detective.
A private forensic scientist testified later in the day she believed Brown would have been incapacitated after he was shot.
Walsh said he believed Brown could’ve remained conscious for several seconds.
Trial is scheduled to continue today with more defense witnesses.