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Friday, December 8, 2023
Dec. 8, 2023

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Vancouver woman sentenced for helping boyfriend flee shooting of estranged husband

Her boyfriend accused of attempted murder

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor

A Vancouver woman was sentenced Monday to spend 30 days on the county work crew for helping her boyfriend flee a March shooting at a Hazel Dell apartment complex.

Traci Marie Bojorquez, 49, pleaded guilty to second-degree rendering criminal assistance by way of an “in re Barr” plea, meaning she pleaded guilty to the lesser related charge she didn’t commit to avoid the risk of conviction on a greater offense. She originally faced first-degree rendering criminal assistance.

Bojorquez declined to make a statement to the court. She received credit for one day already served.

Her co-defendant, Kenneth Michael Debruyn, 41, of Vancouver, is facing attempted first-degree murder, among other charges. He is scheduled for trial in October.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies responded at about 1:35 a.m. March 6 to the Dell Terrace Apartments, 7422 N.E. Hazel Dell Ave., after multiple 911 callers reported hearing a gunshot and screams, according to a prior sheriff’s office statement. The shooter, later identified by authorities as Debruyn, fled in Bojorquez’s car before deputies arrived.

First responders found a man in the parking lot with a single gunshot wound to the left side of his torso. The man, identified in court records as Steven M. Limon, underwent surgery to remove what appeared to be a 9 mm bullet lodged in his back, according to a probable cause affidavit.

At the hospital, Limon told investigators he and his wife, Bojorquez, had been separated on and off for the last year. He refused to identify his shooter or say what led to the shooting, other than calling it “some ‘Jerry Springer’ stuff,” court records state.

Bojorquez told investigators her new boyfriend had shot her estranged husband, who had been living in San Diego. A domestic violence report from November 2022 listed Bojorquez and Debruyn as being in a dating relationship, according to the affidavit.

Deputies had been called earlier that night, Bojorquez said, after Limon came to the apartment and threatened to die by suicide if she didn’t go with him to California, court records state.

Limon later returned, she said, and Debruyn shot him, the affidavit says.

A Vancouver police officer spotted Bojorquez’s Hyundai at about 2:20 a.m. in the North Image neighborhood of east Vancouver. The driver tried to elude police but crashed after a few blocks and then ran. The vehicle was recovered by police near Northeast 49th Street and 137th Avenue. A passenger in the crashed car, Jaimie Sauls, identified the driver as Debruyn, according to the affidavit.

Sauls told investigators Debruyn and Bojorquez live at the Hazel Dell apartment. Sauls said she heard Debruyn tell Bojorquez if Limon returned, he would shoot him. She also told investigators that after the shooting, she heard Bojorquez tell Debruyn, “Oh my God, you have to go. Here are my keys!” the affidavit states.

Court records say that phone records show Bojorquez was in contact with Debruyn on a nearly daily basis in the weeks after the shooting. Investigators said they also learned that she withheld Debruyn’s current phone number from them.

When Debruyn was arrested April 10 in Scappoose, Ore., Bojorquez was in a car with him. She told U.S. marshals the car was rented under her name, according to court records.

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